Winners of UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge to Receive Full Scholarships to UE

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Next month, the Institute for Global Enterprise at the University of Evansville will host UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge, a competition for students from participating Vanderburgh and Warrick County high schools. The event is set for Thursday, March 17, 9:00 a.m., in Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge is designed to motivate young people to take a leading role in solving challenges in the world around them through innovation and creativity. During the contest, one team of up to three students from each competing school will vie to solve local, national or global challenges through innovative ideas for change.

“A changemaker is someone who sees a problem, offers an innovative solution, and has the passion and drive to make it happen,” says Jill Griffin, executive director of the Institute for Global Enterprise.

The stakes are high for the competition, as any winning team member who chooses UE as a college destination will receive a full-tuition scholarship annually for four years, as long he or she remains consecutively enrolled each semester as a full-time student, maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree, and fulfill the two-year residency requirement in campus housing. UE admission requirements also apply.

UE president Thomas A. Kazee notes that “we want to have more of these changemakers at our university and in the community. Preparing students to be global citizens and make an impact in the world is central to our mission at the University of Evansville.”

High schools currently planning on participating include: Castle, Tecumseh, Boonville, Central, New Tech, Bosse, Reitz, North, Mater Dei, and Evansville Day School.

The geographical range of the high schools invited to compete will likely expand for future UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge events.

“Since this is the inaugural year for this competition,” explains Griffin, “we are starting modestly. But in the future, we’d like to open this up to the entire Tri-state and possibly even bigger.”

Each team’s presentation, which can be up to seven minutes in length, will be judged by community leaders from Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. The criteria for selecting the winner will include: identification of a need, how innovative the solution is, the feasibility and potential impact of the solution, how self-sustaining the solution is, and the effectiveness of the presentation.

There will be two informational sessions at UE for participating teams before the competition - one to address what social innovation is and what it means to be self-sustaining, and the other to provide instructions and tips on how to make a pitch.

For more information on UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge, visit www.evansville.edu/cc-hs, email globalindiana@evansville.edu, or call 812-488-2455.

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