Campus Champions of Change Challenge

Last fall, the White House announced the launch of the Campus Champions of Change Challenge. After reviewing a record number of entries, we are delighted to announce the Challenge finalists and are ready to kick off the next phase where the public will have an opportunity to choose the top five projects they think best embody the President’s goal to win the future.

“All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” said President Obama. “I hope this challenge shines a light on their efforts, and inspires Americans of all ages to get involved in their communities.”

The top five vote getters will be invited to an event at the White House. They will also be featured by mtvU and MTV Act and be given the opportunity to host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

Update:

The voting period for the first ever White House College Campus Champions of Change is now closed.

Thank you taking the time to vote for the projects you believe best embody the President’s goal to win the future. Based on your input, the 5 winning projects will be announced by the end of Monday, March 5th. Winners and their guests will then be invited to an event at the White House on Thursday, March 15th where they will be honored for their innovation, determination, and engagement.

The 5 winners will also be featured by mtvU and MTV Act and be given the opportunity to host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

Again, we greatly appreciate your participation.

Make sure to stay connected to hear about the most recent updates by signing up for our email list.

Vote for a College Campus Champion of Change finalist:

You've used all your votes and won't be able to post a new idea, but you can still search and comment on existing ideas.

There are two ways to get more votes:

  • When an admin closes an idea you've voted on, you'll get your votes back from that idea.
  • You can remove your votes from an open idea you support.
  • To see ideas you have already voted on, select the "My feedback" filter and select "My open ideas".
(thinking…)

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

If a similar idea already exists, you can vote and comment on it.

If it doesn't exist, you can post your idea so others can vote on it.

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

  1. UMASS Amherst Permaculture Initiative - Ryan Harb, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    The UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative is a unique and cutting edge sustainability program that transforms grass lawns on the campus into diverse, edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens. Over the past two years students have create three community demonstration permaculture gardens that have engaged over 1000 students and more than a dozen local K-12 schools. Permaculture is defined as, "ecological design for sustainable communities that involves people working together to care for the planet." It is considered to be the most sustainable form of gardening and farming and UMass Amherst is currently the only public university in the country implementing…

    59,823 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      You have left! (?) (thinking…)
      Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Full Circle Food Pantry - Julia Lyon, Volunteer Action Center, University of Arkansas

      The Volunteer Action Center (VAC) Board, a program of the Center for Community Engagement, launched a student food pantry in February 2010 to serve the needs of students on and off campus who are in personal crisis and do not have the financial resources to meet all of their nutritional needs. The VAC launched a weekly program that provides food for students who make requests through an online, email system with goals that the program be accessible to students in proximity (on campus), free of obstacles, and that it must be dignified. Donations are at the heart of the work…

      57,109 votes
      Vote
      Sign in
      Check!
      (thinking…)
      Reset
      or sign in with
      • facebook
      • google
        Password icon
        Signed in as (Sign out)
        You have left! (?) (thinking…)
        Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Local Loans Project - Grace Philipp, The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, Grinnell College

        The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG) manages an innovative domestic microfinance initiative to combat the problem of rural poverty in central Iowa and empower individuals in desperate situations. Faced with little access to traditional credit, low-income families often turn to loans from predatory lenders that are nearly impossible to repay, which can lead to homelessness, joblessness or worse. The Local Loans Project has already provided $13,000 of temporary financial assistance to 25 individuals in the form of small, no-interest loans to help break these persistent cycles of poverty and debt. A student-directed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, SEG further creates service learning…

        28,777 votes
        Vote
        Sign in
        Check!
        (thinking…)
        Reset
        or sign in with
        • facebook
        • google
          Password icon
          Signed in as (Sign out)
          You have left! (?) (thinking…)
          Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Swipes for the Homeless - Thach Tak Nguyen, UCLA

          Swipes for the Homeless makes use of the unused university student meals, or meal swipes, that are left over at the end of every academic semester. These meal swipes are not permitted to be rolled over into the next academic semester, resulting in students often having 1, 5, or even 100 meal swipes remaining. Before the semester comes to an end, Swipes for the Homeless sets up locations throughout the campus community, to allow students to donate their swipes as well as learn about the hunger and homeless issue in addition to what other steps they can take to alleviate…

          25,373 votes
          Vote
          Sign in
          Check!
          (thinking…)
          Reset
          or sign in with
          • facebook
          • google
            Password icon
            Signed in as (Sign out)
            You have left! (?) (thinking…)
            Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Moneythink - Ted Gonder, University of Chicago

            During Gonder’s freshman year at the University of Chicago, he noticed that no student organizations on campus were doing anything to strike at the root of local financial destitution, which we believed to be a lack of financial illiteracy. Gonder mobilized peers in the Economics department and campus investment club to serve as peer mentors to local urban teenagers. They called the initiative Moneythink, and set out to empower urban high school students to build a better future through peer-mentoring in financial literacy and entrepreneurship education. In under three years, Moneythink has scaled to 17 urban campus communities nationwide, mentoring…

            22,790 votes
            Vote
            Sign in
            Check!
            (thinking…)
            Reset
            or sign in with
            • facebook
            • google
              Password icon
              Signed in as (Sign out)
              You have left! (?) (thinking…)
              Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Dream Outside the Box - Kam Phillips, University of Missouri

              Dream Outside the Box was created in September 2009 by then college freshman, Kam Phillips, to expose the youth of the Columbia area to new and exciting career and extracurricular activities. Since that time Dream Outside the Box has provided innumerable areas of interaction for the children to engage in. Each week two groups of college students from the University of Missouri serve via Dream Outside the Box: the DOTB volunteers who act as mentors or volunteer buddies to the children and the presenters such as the campus chapter of National Society of Black engineers, who teach and engage the…

              20,886 votes
              Vote
              Sign in
              Check!
              (thinking…)
              Reset
              or sign in with
              • facebook
              • google
                Password icon
                Signed in as (Sign out)
                You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Brown Market Shares Program - Leah Douglas, Brown University

                Douglas’ program provides weekly shares of local, sustainable, delicious produce, bread, and dairy to Brown University staff, faculty, and students. This program originated as a means of addressing the problem that students and staff at Brown have limited access to local food from the bountiful agricultural region of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The program includes low-cost shares for Brown staff and graduate students who cannot afford the full cost of a share. The subsidized shares attempt to create more food justice by reducing the cost of healthy food for low-income individuals and families. Participants in the program purchase a season's…

                12,287 votes
                Vote
                Sign in
                Check!
                (thinking…)
                Reset
                or sign in with
                • facebook
                • google
                  Password icon
                  Signed in as (Sign out)
                  You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • The Big Event - Katherine Calle, Texas A&M

                  For the past 30 years, students at Texas A&M University- College Station have joined together in an act of selfless service to help beautify and serve the local community. Individuals, groups, and organizations affiliated with Texas A&M University sign up to perform at least four hours of community service on the day of The Big Event. Service tasks usually include yard work and cleaning homes in the local community. The Big Event is the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation. Last year, over 15,600 Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff volunteered to participate in the Big Event, completing…

                  12,167 votes
                  Vote
                  Sign in
                  Check!
                  (thinking…)
                  Reset
                  or sign in with
                  • facebook
                  • google
                    Password icon
                    Signed in as (Sign out)
                    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                    Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • The A-List - Matt Norris, University of Minnesota

                    The A-list is a teen hangout based on a revolutionary new approach to youth engagement. Designed to be a one-stop shop for youth, it’s a place where teens can go to get a job, participate in educational afterschool programs, and enjoy fun evening events at night. What makes The A-list unique is that teens themselves actually produce 30% of the revenue to support the organization by selling snacks at our snack bar and making custom screen-printed t-shirts all while helping to keep teens safe. The A-list focuses on three key mission elements—entrepreneurship, education, and personal growth. And as a result…

                    9,885 votes
                    Vote
                    Sign in
                    Check!
                    (thinking…)
                    Reset
                    or sign in with
                    • facebook
                    • google
                      Password icon
                      Signed in as (Sign out)
                      You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                      Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • SEE ACT 2012 - Michael C. Maiorano, Students for Educational Equality, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

                      For the past 3 years, S.E.E. has offered free college preparatory services to students in low-income communities. In 2009, the founders started a small-scale project at Lincoln High in Ypsilanti, Michigan, teaching the junior class the ACT. SEE ACT 2012 will provide 400 students free ACT practice book and a free, high- quality, 8 week prep course. Further, 70 students will receive college mentoring assistance and 50 University of Michigan Students will serve as tutors. Past data from the 2011 program showed that Maiorano and his group’s efforts raised scores and helped students into their top colleges.

                      6,885 votes
                      Vote
                      Sign in
                      Check!
                      (thinking…)
                      Reset
                      or sign in with
                      • facebook
                      • google
                        Password icon
                        Signed in as (Sign out)
                        You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                        Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Students for Education Reform - Catharine Bellinger and Alexis Morin, Princeton University

                        Upon realizing that young people had never been seriously and systematically involved with education reform, Bellinger and Morin founded Students for Education Reform, a nonprofit organization that supports student groups on 60 college campuses across the country and provides students a voice in the policymaking process. Each chapter addresses the issues in their local schools, partnering with local tutoring organizations and placing student teachers and interns with high-need public schools. In addition, students meet with local officials and state legislators to provide the student perspective on education policy issues. S.F.E.R. campus leaders and organizations also create a campus coalition for…

                        5,268 votes
                        Vote
                        Sign in
                        Check!
                        (thinking…)
                        Reset
                        or sign in with
                        • facebook
                        • google
                          Password icon
                          Signed in as (Sign out)
                          You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                          Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Green Campus, Engineers for a Sustainable World - Martin Figueroa, University of California at Merced

                          To improve student awareness of issues of water sustainability and to educate students on methods for reducing consumption, Figueroa created a competition between 9 student dormitories to motivate students to conserve water. ‘The Water Battle’ was a month-long water conservation competition between 9 residence halls. Students reduced their water usage by an average of 14%, saving 89,000 gallons of water in 31 days. This project involved a broad coalition of organizers, including student groups on campus, the Writing Program, the Office of Sustainability, and a regional startup company piloting new water-use monitoring technology. With the availability of new technology, students…

                          4,891 votes
                          Vote
                          Sign in
                          Check!
                          (thinking…)
                          Reset
                          or sign in with
                          • facebook
                          • google
                            Password icon
                            Signed in as (Sign out)
                            You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                            Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • EMPOWER Project - Kirsten Foster, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska

                            The founding principle behind EMPOWER is to address the health-care disparities of women affected by domestic violence (DV), while exposing students to learn more about issues relevant to this matter. EMPOWER services are held on the first and third Monday evening of every month and include a two-hour session of education workshops with individual screenings. Eight to ten students from various professions (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, public health) come each night to collaborate and learn with, from, and about each other to enhance quality of care. Students are always supervised by volunteer faculty. Education sessions cover the…

                            3,727 votes
                            Vote
                            Sign in
                            Check!
                            (thinking…)
                            Reset
                            or sign in with
                            • facebook
                            • google
                              Password icon
                              Signed in as (Sign out)
                              You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                              Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons - Rachel Lang, Fairfield University

                              After learning that Princeton Review listed Fairfield University at #19 on the list of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender unfriendly campuses, Lang set out to create a safe space to converse about not only LGBTQ issues, but any issues pertaining to gender, sex, or sexuality. She found it necessary to claim a space to create and foster and all-inclusive community for students of various genders, sexes, and sexualities, and thus established the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons (GSSC). In the process of creating this space, Lang collaborated with the Diversity Office, Women’s Studies Department, and clubs such as Alliance and…

                              3,020 votes
                              Vote
                              Sign in
                              Check!
                              (thinking…)
                              Reset
                              or sign in with
                              • facebook
                              • google
                                Password icon
                                Signed in as (Sign out)
                                You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                                Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Our Promise: Building a Better Community Together - Kurtis Neu, St. Cloud State University

                                In the summer of 2011 a new initiative was put into action: providing bagged lunches for children in a multi-ethnic, low-income neighborhood who would normally qualify for lunch assistance during the academic year at a local elementary school. After receiving a grant from the campus food supplier, Neu and his team began making bagged lunches in the campus cafeteria every morning Monday through Friday. College students and volunteers from the community worked together to prepare meals which students then distributed to children in the neighborhood. What started as only a few hundred meals and a handful of volunteers grew to…

                                1,664 votes
                                Vote
                                Sign in
                                Check!
                                (thinking…)
                                Reset
                                or sign in with
                                • facebook
                                • google
                                  Password icon
                                  Signed in as (Sign out)
                                  You have left! (?) (thinking…)
                                  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                Connect:


                                Stay in touch by signing up for the Young Americans newsletter


                                Check out WhiteHouse.gov/YoungAmericans


                                Like the White House on Facebook


                                Follow the White House and the Office of Public Engagement on Twitter


                                Email us at youth@who.eop.gov


                                Remind your friends to vote:


                                Campus Champions of Change Challenge

                                Feedback and Knowledge Base