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Scholars Shine at Do Good Challenge Finals

Despite not capturing the top prizes at the 2024 Do Good Challenge Finals held earlier this week, four members of College Park Scholars and their respective projects shined.

Two Scholars - Takiyah Roberts (STS) and Elias Laskey (GPH) - and their teams went head-to-head in the Project Track competition.

The second-place winner in the project track was Dare to Dream (DTD), which received $2,500. The nonprofit organization of 25 students from various majors created an eight-week entrepreneurial development curriculum for students from marginalized communities. The organization, founded by Roberts, also secured a contract with the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission to offer a three-week program to residents, and is working with UMD’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Junior Achievement to teach inaugural cohorts of high school students in Prince George’s County how to run their own businesses.

Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB), led by Laskey, took third, winning $1,000. The student group teaches families and communities locally and globally how to improve their health through workshops and advocacy. Since its inception more than a decade ago, PHBB has collaborated with partner communities in India, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Kenya, involving more than 1,000 undergraduates and positively impacting 2,500+ children.

Sara Blau (IS) presented solo against two other teams in the Venture Track competition. 

Game Changers, which took third-place, was founded by Blau when she was a high school sophomore and sends lightly used sports equipment to children in need. It connects donors, organizes volunteers, and forges partnerships, leading to the donation of 100,000-plus pieces of sports equipment worth more than $2.5 million to 130 partner organizations in 14 countries.

Before the start of the on-stage Finals, audience members had an opportunity to meet and mingle with five Showcase teams in the lobby of The Clarice before casting a vote for the team they believed could have the greatest impact.

After winning the chance to present on stage, Ethan Adler (MSS) won the $750 Showcase Audience Choice Award for his project Terrapin Think Tank (TTT), the first student-led policy incubator at UMD. For the past two and a half years, TTT has been developing and advocating for community-centered policy solutions to significant health challenges in Prince George’s County. The organization is officially partnered with the School of Public Health’s Office of Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and works closely with elected officials and the Prince George’s County Health Department on several “health in all policies” initiatives. Students can apply to join TTT as a fellow and take a 1-credit course on policy research and advocacy while developing their own policy proposal.

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