Deadline: 31 March 2022
Open to: teens ages 13 to 18 located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
Benefits: up to $15,000 in seed funding for the proposed projects
T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka have kicked off the fourth Changemaker Challenge, a nationwide contest that gives young leaders the opportunity to level up their ideas for creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future.
This year, the organizers are looking for bold ideas in the following areas:
Digital Empowerment – Solutions that help bridge the digital divide, enabling access for all to the digital age and the skills needed to thrive in it. Examples of ideas you may submit include but are not limited to:
- Build a mobile STEM education center that travels to different schools, providing students of all backgrounds access to STEM learning.
- Create a platform that helps users build digital literacy skills.
- Start a program for young people to create their own mini-digital exchange communities and explore critical global issues together.
- Create Wi-Fi hotspots to help kids in schools who have limited internet connection access virtual education.
Thriving Planet – Ideas to help improve the health of our planet. Examples of ideas you may submit include but are not limited to:
- Develop a sustainable product that offers an alternative to plastic bottles.
- Launch a project to prevent textile waste through upcycling and donations.
- Improve urban sustainability through a gardening-based program.
- Develop a product to help people calculate and reduce the impact of their trash.
Equity In Action – Ideas and solutions that remove barriers and create opportunities for everyone to thrive in an inclusive society. Examples of ideas you may submit include but are not limited to
- Create a program that provides skills and career development resources for young Black men.
- Develop a program that inspires youth-led crime prevention, utilizing educational, athletic, and recreational activities to build trust and understanding between young people and the police force.
- Start a program that fosters a more inclusive environment for students with special needs in general education.
- Promoting confidence in young girls by connecting them with women role models through storytelling and hands-on activities.
- Participants must be at least 13 when applying and not older than 18 by the end of entry period United States or Puerto Rico residents.
- Two participants of eligible ages (plus ONE chaperone required if any participant is under 18) per winning team will travel for the Changemaker Lab.
- One application per initiative and per person will be accepted.
- Previous winners from the Changemaker Challenge are not eligible. If you applied last year and were not one of the winning teams, you can re-apply.
- Applications must be submitted in English.
- Employees of T-MOBILE USA, INC. or T-Mobile Puerto Rico, LLC, their parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries, joint ventures, participating advertising and promotion agencies are only eligible to compete in the specific challenge in place for those individuals with formal ties to T-Mobile. One can apply for this challenge by selecting the option marked “Yes” for the question “Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?” when completing the application. The eligible relationships to the T-Mobile employee are Parent/Guardian or Sibling.
- Early Entry Prize: T-Mobile and Ashoka will select three winning teams from those that apply by March 10th, 2022, for a cash prize of $1,000. Additionally, all entries submitted by the early entry deadline will receive feedback on how to improve their application.
- In May, T-Mobile and Ashoka will announce the Top 15 teams – 5 from each of the three categories (Digital Empowerment, Thriving Planet and Equity In Action). Each team will receive $5,000 seed funding and an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Washington, headquarters in July 2022 (subject to change) for the Changemaker Lab, a three-day immersive experience in which teams will receive mentorship from T-Mobile executives, skills training from Ashoka and networking opportunities with other amazing teams.
- From the Top 15 teams, the best in each of the three categories will receive an additional $5,000 seed funding (for a total of $10,000) and the opportunity to pitch their project to senior leadership team members of T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation.
- From the 3 Category Finalist teams, one selected grand prize winner will receive an additional $5,000 in seed funding (for a total of $15,000) and a one-on-one meeting with an influential leader.
- From the T-Mobile Family Changemaker Challenge applicants, one winning team will be selected. They will also be invited to the Changemaker Lab at T-Mobile headquarters and receive $5,000 seed funding.