This is an extraordinary time to be a young person. Change is happening in every area of the country at an increasing rate, and this carries implications for people and the planet.
The old rules and ways of doing things are no longer sufficient for the health and progress of our planet, or our communities. We believe that now, more than ever, our world needs changemakers and rule breakers. T-Mobile is inspired by today’s youth and wants to iginite their fires to mobilize and unleash positive change.
For the first time, T-Mobile and Ashoka are launching the Changemaker Challenge to empower young people to disrupt the status quo, and create new solutions that positively impact their neighborhoods, communities and our country.
By giving young innovators a bigger platform to make an impact, we want to fuel the next generation of leaders.
The Changemaker Challenge is open to young people in the US & Puerto Rico ages 13-23 that want to make long-lasting positive impact in communities. The teams with winning ideas will get an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle for a two-day intensive Changemaker Lab workshop hosted at T-Mobile’s Bellevue Headquarters along with ongoing mentorship, skills development, devices and a pool of $57,000 USD for seed funding.
Awards and Benefits
30 Changemakers will travel to Un-carrier's headquarters in Seattle for a two-day event. There, the young innovators will unite and collaborate with other bold and creative changemakers from across the US.
T-Mobile employees and Ashoka teams will run workshops to power-up winners’ changemaker ideas, and a select group of participants will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to a panel of celebrity judges. We will focus on community building throughout the event with opportunities to share your story, collaborate with peers and put your plans in motion.
All Winners for the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge will receive:
● A travel stipend for two team members and a chaperone to attend the two-day Changemaker Lab at T-Mobile’s Headquarters in Seattle in August 2018
● A pool of $57,000 USD for seed funding to support projects as needed
● The opportunity to connect with other like-minded youth and form a community of support at the Changemaker Lab.
● The opportunity to pitch their change initiatives live to a panel of judges
● Feature opportunities in Ashoka's and T-Mobile’s media activities
● Participation in a storytelling workshop
● Mentoring, Coaching and access to T-Mobile and Ashoka’s diverse set of skills and resources
- March 28: Challenge opens
- March 28 – May 31: Entry Phase. During this time, participants may submit entries, edit, and resubmit until the entry deadline.
- June 1 - July 2: Application Screening and Community Review. Participants are welcomed to view, review, and comment on one another’s entries.
- July 19: Winners announced.
- Week of August 19: Winners attend the Changemaker Lab at T-Mobile’s Headquarters in Seattle.
Applications for the Changemaker Challenge are open to any young person between the ages of 13 and 23 in the United States or Puerto Rico.
Ashoka and T-Mobile are looking for pre-existing initiatives or new ideas which are creating solutions impacting your own community or a community to which you have a personal connection.
If your answer is ‘yes’ to each of these questions, and you are aligned with the contest terms, you are eligible to apply.
● Are you a young person between the ages of 13-23 in the United States or Puerto Rico?
● Do you self-identify as a Changemaker, (a person who gives themself permission to lead and take action for positive change)?
● Is your idea or project tied to your own community or a community to which you have a personal connection?
● Are you able to submit your application in English?
● Are you the founder, co-founder, or hold an equivalent leadership position within the initiative your application represents?
● Do you have an idea or existing project that addresses a problem you care about?
● Is your project something offered for the long term and NOT just a short term project?
● Have you found at least one other person to join your team?
● Are you committed to implementing your idea and creating impact?
● Are you looking for an opportunity to engage with other Changemakers?
The selection committee will be looking for Changemakers who provide strong answers to a range of questions about what your initiative does, how it runs, and your changemaking story.
Remember, we are looking for innovative and creative ideas at all stages of development, which means it can be a young idea, or a fully baked one!
Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:
● Changemaker Quality: You identify as a Changemaker and are already taking steps to make a real difference, big or small.
● Creativity: Whether you’re tackling a new challenge or bringing a different perspective to an existing problem, you’re doing it in a fresh and innovative way that challenges the norm.
● Commitment: You’re ready to stick by your project and leave a lasting impact. You may have mapped out a full plan or could just be in the idea stage, but you are ready to go beyond a one-time activity to make a difference in the future.
● Connection: You are focused on making a difference in a community that is close to you and your experiences. You are open to connecting with others and working together to solve the problem you care about.
If you have any questions regarding the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge please contact us at CMChallenge@ashoka.org