Past High School Changemaker Challenge Winners

2023-24 Winners

Jacob Barnwell and Elie Duff

First Place – Full TuitionSolarLensJacob Barnwell and Elie Duff (New Tech Institute, Evansville, Ind.)SolarLens is a solar powered streetlight with a monitored dome camera attached to it. It will all be in one unit and established into the Evansville Promise Neighborhood to help improve the quality of life by saving money on energy and helping lower the crime rate in the city of Evansville.

Claire Deardorff and Jennifer Vazquez

Second Place – $27,000 per YearUpLift18Claire Deardorff and Jennifer Vazquez (Signature School, Evansville, Ind.)UpLift18 raises awareness about human trafficking by providing education, prevention, student empowerment, and community service opportunities. UpLift18 creates a meaningful impact for students in fighting human trafficking.

Kris Lau, Abdul-Aleem Mohammed, and Parth Patel

Third Place – $23,000 per yearBoomerang LearningKris Lau, Abdul-Aleem Mohammed, and Parth Patel (Signature School, Evansville, Ind.)Boomerang Learning is program to help students that have had trouble catching up to Indiana standards post COVID and to help students who are falling behind their peers.

2022-23 Winners

Tyler Myers with trophy and check

1st Place – Full TuitionHeroes Among UsTyler MyersHeroes Among Us is an interactive app that will equip schools with a curriculum that allows them to educate kids about sensory needs.

Sophie Rodionova with trophy and check

2nd Place – $27,000 ScholarshipTicket to HealthSophie RodionovaTicket to Health is a medical booklet that will contain questions specifically tailored to each doctor's needs. It will include the most common languages in Evansville: Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Urdu, and Mandarin. Different colors will represent various specialties, and each language will have a translation to English.

QuickSports winning team with trophy and check

3rd Place – $23,000 ScholarshipQuickSportsPrab JayachandranKaden OberlanderAn app that connects sports players and brings them to the best sports location near them. QuickSports is the go-to app for anyone looking to find friends and play sports in a large group as fast as possible.

2022-23 Finalists

Mobile STEM LabDylan LynchAdam GoffinetThrough a partnership with Toyota Manufacturing and the University of Evansville, this team is working to design and construct a mobile STEM lab within a mini-van. The main purpose of the mobile lab is to expose elementary students to STEM based thinking and projects, such as 3D printing, CAD software, laser cutting, solar power technology, and more!

The KanopiEmily RudolphEthan HiltonProviding covered parking canopies with solar panels.

Dr. OrthopedicClaire DeardorffJennifer VazquezDr. Orthopedic is a product that serves as a slip-on, protective cover for orthopedic casts. The purpose of Dr. Orthopedic is to prevent water from getting inside casts when showering, in rain, or in aquatic environments.

Remaining Top 20 from 2023 Competition

  • Gun Buy Backs – Prestin Jarrell, Nolan Josey, Chris Kormelink (New Tech Institute)
  • Food for You – Abigail Aders (Jasper High School)
  • Project Parcel – Blake Sanders, Christian Slade, Toby Durosinmi-Etti (Signature School)
  • Breathe for Barry – Summer Smith (National Honor Society/Interact Club)
  • STEM Playground – Rebekah Turner, Trinity Kessinger (Scouts BSA)
  • BeeCorp's Bittersweet Harvest – Eli Dodge, Crisnell Cabigting, Brooke Hay (Madison Consolidated High School's BeeCorp Club)
  • Bee Corps Operation Ground Cover – Jack Heckler, Izabela Jett, Owen Schmidt (Madison Consolidated High School)
  • Growing People – Briggs Miller, Cameron Miller (Mater Dei High School)
  • Purple Pages – Zozo Zhou, Amanda Lile-Helm (Evansville Christian High School)
  • Musicmakers – Aparna Kudiyirikkal Anil, Sreya Yelamanchili (Signature School)
  • Bee Corps Garden Box Initiative – Jack Heckler, Taylor Owen, Izabela Jett (Madison Consolidated High School)
  • Let's Be Real: Sexual and Reproductive Health Vending – Savannah Hoar, Sophia Hoar, Cael McCullum (Signature School)
  • The Tyr Project – Keira Starnes, Jaylena Scott, Serenity Bell
  • An Emotional Performance – Aidan Paul (Mount Vernon High School)


  • – Mitchell Thomas, Jayden Baiden-Amissah (Signature School)
  • WISTEM Club – Gracie Stoller (Lebanon High School)
  • Bee Corps Education Initiative – Nathan Wu, Jackson Schwartz, Kailee Lock (Madison Consolidated High School)

2021-22 Winners

First Place Winners

1st place team: Full tuition
Kerry Ao and Naina Muvva
Signature School (Evansville, IN)
Intertwined Financial Literacy - An online, interactive simulator used in schools to enhance students' understanding of finance through portfolios, stocks, and more

Second Place Winners

2nd place team: $23,000 per year
Neva Verbik
Avon High School (Avon, IN)
Uptown Gardens - Addresses solutions to the constant issues of pollution, increasingly less space for plants to grow, and global warming

Third Place Winners

3rd place team: $18,000 per year
Jack Deig
Castle High School (Newburgh, IN)
The Hydration Station - Easily accessible water dispensing units placed throughout Evansville for a healthier, more hydrated community

Remaining Top 20 from 2021-22 Competition

  • Additive Affordable Prosthetics: Zeke Grant
  • Create Art Mobile for Children: Anika Paranjape
  • Do You Mind?: Brooke Williard
  • Driving for Change, Sensory Inclusion: Tyler Myers
  • Every Body Helps: Emmett Bowman
  • Garden-Way: Jet Gregory
  • Genocide Education Project: Max Roberts
  • Improving Academic and Physical Success: Lydia Jourdan and Madison Schenk
  • Produce Prescription Program: Carlie Hayward
  • Project CuRe: Sabreen Hussain
  • Restore and Rebuild: Faith Field
  • STEM Expo: Madelyn Tarvin and Hannah Adison
  • Teach the Educator: Save our Future: Alison Gansman
  • ThrifZ: Braelyn McKenzie and Emma Thompson
  • Universal Unique Designs: Vivian Galey
  • Vol-Grad: Cody Bunch
  • The Wholesome Forest: Elliott Fosterwelsh

2020-21 Winners

Social & Environmental Justice

  1. Grace Davidson – North High School, Evansville, IN; Helping victims of sexual assault receive compassionate care

  2. Ilya Budd – Arcola High School, Arcola, Illinois; Rethinking recycling

  3. Barak Hall – Evansville Christian School, Evansville, IN; Sustainable housing


  1. Patricia Solliday – White River Valley High School, Switz City, IN; Portable health care for the elderly

  2. Ali Scott – Northeastern High School, Richmond, IN; Basic health care for K-12 kids in need

  3. Omaima Khan – Signature School, Newburgh, IN; Clean needle exchange

2019-20 Winners

  • 1st Place – Project Oasis (full-tuition scholarships, renewable for 4 years, to each team member*)

    Team has plans to create a mobile grocery store for food desert areas in Evansville. Team members are: Ranny Badreddine, Futhallah Hamed, and Graham Griffin. Their coach is José Mota.

  • 2nd Place – Team EDE, ($26,000 UE scholarship to each team member, renewable for 4 years.)

    Team has developed a safety device to prevent children from accidentally being left in cars. Team members are: Lydia Johnston, Elijah Jorgensen, and Isaac Martin. Their coach is Donna Lefler.

  • 3rd Place – Working Out for a Change, ($22,000 UE scholarship to each team member, renewable for up to 4 years.)

    Team developed plans for a gym featuring equipment that produces and stores energy for sustainable use. Team members are Madeline Erdell, Paxton Mosby, and Vivian Valadares). Their coach is José Mota.

  • 4th Place – Food Recovery, ($18,000 UE scholarship to each team member, renewable for up to 4 years.)

    Team is working to utilize un-served food to address food insecurity among children. Team members are Ben Burson, Mary Franklin, and Isabella Meier. Their coach is Kacey Strange.

  • Finalist – Power of Composting, ($18,000 UE scholarship to each team member, renewable for up to 4 years.)

    Team is promoting composting to reduce food waste from school lunches. Team members are Mary Gardner, Chloe Julian, and Helaena Pfeiffer. Their coach is Brooke Haldeman.

  • Finalist – Watt-a-Bike, ($18,000 UE scholarship to each team member, renewable for up to 4 years.)

    Team is designing an exercise bike that generates energy to address climate change. Team members are Krish Gupta and Kaden Merrill. Their coaches are Jenna Bunner and Haleigh Bennett.

2018-19 Winners

  • 1st Place – Evansville North, Team 1 (four-year, full-tuition scholarships to each team member*)

    Team has plans for an up-to-date and more innovative take on the classic swing set. Team members are: Ashlyn Thompson, Jalyn Davis, and Jamie Born. Their coach is Amanda Rexing.

  • 2nd Place – Bosse Bulldogs, ($5,000 UE scholarship to each team member**)

    Team has developed a plan for the creation of a wetland park in Evansville that collects rainwater and naturally cleans it through the plant life. Team members are: Caroline Hayne and Robert Lopez. Their coach is Amy Hood.

  • 3rd Place – Castle, Hope Park, ($2,500 UE scholarship to each team member**)

    Team is developing plans for an inclusive park including activities and opportunities for people with disabilities. Team members are Megan Laune, Hope Burkins, and Molly Eissler. Their coaches are Emily Garret and Jenna Bunner.

  • 4th Place – Castle, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ($1,000 UE scholarship to each team member**)

    Team is working to help students develop coping skills and appropriate responses to issues they are facing. Team members are Paige Thomas, Emma Fergus, and Jackson Cieslack. Their coaches are Emily Garret and Jenna Bunner.

2017-18 Winners

  • 1st Place (tie) – Boonville High School (4-year, full-tuition scholarships to each team member)

    H.E.L.P. Reporting & Emergency Response App. Team members are: Caleb McKinney, Jordan McKinney, and Bo Smith. Their coach is Emily Strahle.

  • 1st Place (tie) – Castle High School (4-year, full-tuition scholarships to each team member)

    Young adults, of a legal age, are making the decision to drink and drive. Team strives to make the decision of choosing not to drive easier fo them when they are in social situations. Team members are: Alley Metzger, Madelyn Schroeder, Claire Stephens. Their coaches are Abby Busing and Emily Garrett.

  • 2nd Place – Central High School ($5,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Parents with children who have food allergies may have difficulties with finding establishments with optimum food options that are specific to that child's needs. Team's mission is to bring families together with the ability to go out to eat in a safe environment with ease. Team members are: Alley Metzger, Madelyn Schroeder, Claire Stephens. Their coach is Brad Lamey.

  • 3rd Place – Bosse High School ($2,500 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Designing an art garden wetland project in downtown Evansville. Team members are: Sara Haynie and Robert Lopez. Their coach is Amy Hood.

  • 4th Place – Mater Dei High School ($1,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    While abuse saddens us, we need to be aware of the aftermath of abuse. Abuse is a precursor to some of society's greatest ills. Where do we begin? Team members are: Sydney Brust, Abbey Chapmman, Gwendolyn Thompson. Their coach is Donna Lefler.

2016-17 Winners

  • 1st Place – Mater Dei, Piece by Peace, (four-year, full-tuition scholarships to each team member)

    Team has developed a game to help the victims of bullying cope with their situation. Team members are: Austin Bowen, Michaela Kunkler, and Noah Harrison. Their coach is Donna Lefler.

  • 2nd Place – Jasper, Wildcat Innovation, ($5,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team has developed an enhancement on the DaVinci medical robot. Team members are: Noah Mehringer, Nick Pieper, and Jordan Mehringer. Their coaches are Alalie Schroering and Fred Routson.

  • 3rd Place – Gibson Southern, Smart Waste Bins, ($2,500 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team introduced the idea of bringing smart waste pins to Vanderburgh and surrounding counties to help reduce wasted resources in waste disposal. Team members are Julia Angermeier, Kalea Garrett, and Hayley Doty. Their coach is Tara Sorg.

  • 4th Place – Central, Gills for Good, ($1,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team is utilizing aquaponics to help alleviate hunger and build the school community. Team members are Meredith Ziliak, Alison Windle, and Warren McWilliams. Their coaches are Brad Lamey and Kim McWilliams.

2015-16 Winners

  • 1st Place – Castle, Communitree, (4-year, full-tuition scholarships to each team member)

    Team aims to address the lack of Wi-Fi and electricity at parks and outdoor locations. They designed a tree-shaped Wi-Fi hot spot with electrical outlets for plugging in devices while outside enjoying nature. Team members are: Austin Fonseca, Cody Smith, and Hannah Jaramillo. Their coaches are Emily Strahle and Shannon Hart.

  • 2nd Place – Mater Dei, Second Chance, ($5,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team addresses Adult Category 2 Homelessness among all demographics of Vanderburgh County. Team members are: Robert bow, Kyle Cutrell, and Morgan Goebel. Their coach is Donna Lefler.

  • 3rd Place – New Tech Institute, Poems From Patriots, ($2,500 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team endeavors to assist veterans who suffer with PTSD and related mental illnesses. Team members are Evan Stroud, December Egan, and Emily Buehn. Their coach is Jennifer Hopkins.

  • 4th Place – North, Standing Together, ($1,000 UE scholarship to each team member)

    Team strives to raise awareness of and decrease the incidence of bullying in the community. Team members are Katlyn Hands, Kayla Hands, and Katelyn Brown. Their coach is Mechelle Gilles.

Congratulations to ALL the competitors and coaches of the High School Changemaker Challenge. You make us proud and we’d love to have all of you at UE!

*Students must fulfill UE’s two-year residency requirement in on-campus housing. (Note: if students choose to live at home with family, then their scholarship will be reduced to the awarded academic scholarship)
**Please note that the scholarship awards are in addition to any other scholarship or discounts for which the students may qualify.

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