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SOURCE Ashoka Changemakers
Winners of "My Voice, Our City" Competition Receive Funding Toward A Winning Project On Business Development, Employment or Education
NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Ashoka Changemakers President Diana Wells today announced the winners of the "My Voice, Our City: What will you do?" competition. The City's Young Men's Initiative partnered with Ashoka Changemakers to host the competition and encourage black and Latino young men, ages 16-24, local organizations, and community leaders to submit program ideas that will brighten the future of New York City. The competition received more than 120 submissions from New York City-based innovators after its launch at the end of May 2013. The Grand Prize of $20,000 is awarded to STEM for All, which offers students the opportunity to develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math by increasing their access to a community of peers and mentors and academic resources, including e-learning platforms and open-sourced curricula.
"We are excited to work with and support the prize-winning entries in the 'My Voice, Our City' competition," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "These innovators are an important part of New York's network of creative and influential social changemakers, and we have faith that they will succeed in helping young men and women across the five boroughs reach their potential."
"Our focus was to identify game-changing innovations that unlock employment opportunities, college pathways, and that meet community needs through business development," said Ashoka President Diana Wells. "The winners of this competition were already making a difference in New York City, a city of more than eight million people. More positive outcomes are surely on the way."
The $20,000 grand-prize winner, STEM for All, was the strongest overall entry in the competition as determined by Ashoka Changemakers and a panel of expert judges. Submitted by Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering, Inc. (ELiTE), this program offers students the opportunity to develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math by increasing their access to a community of peers and mentors and academic resources, including e-learning platforms and open-sourced curricula. Led by trained engineers from top universities, STEM for All is creating a pipeline of diverse, motivated, and socially responsible professionals who have the skills to design solutions to community challenges in the U.S. and abroad.
The three runner-up prize winners, chosen from ten finalists by public vote during a two-week period in early September 2013, will each receive $5,000 in prize funding. They include:
- College Pathways from Rikers Island. Submitted by the College Initiative, this program provides young men at New York City's main jail complex, many of whom never considered college an option, the chance to imagine themselves – and succeed – as college students with unprecedented access to community-based support to transition successfully to academic life.
- South Bronx United (SBU), an organization that leverages the power of soccer to help young people, particularly young men from immigrant families, to become leaders and scholars. SBU engages young New Yorkers through their passion for the sport and then provides educational, mentoring, and support services to help them achieve greater success on and off the pitch.
- ScriptEd, an organization that empowers students from low-income communities by bringing computer programming courses directly to their schools, and helping them secure summer internship opportunities with software developers.
For more information about the competition, visit www.myvoiceourcity.com
About the Young Men's Initiative
Through an innovative public-private partnership, including contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at the Open Society Foundation, the City is investing more than $127 million over a three-year period to support new programs and policies that are designed to address disparities between young black and Latino men and their peers across numerous outcomes related to education, health, employment, and the criminal justice system.
About Ashoka Changemakers
Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, Changemakers.com is one of the world's most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world's most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a changemaker.
Contact: Alex Beyard (Ashoka Changemakers) (301) 648-3000
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