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15 Changemaker Organizations Awarded Mini-Grants

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The Do Good Institute is pleased to share that 15 student teams were awarded a Do Good Mini-Grant in our third and final round grants this academic year. In total, nearly $7,000 was granted to teams to grow and develop their projects that are focused on a variety of issues, from promoting mental health to mentoring students in local schools to connecting performers across cultures through art and language. This academic year, projects related to COVID-19 and/or racial justice were given special consideration, along with new or emerging teams and community-centered initiatives

Each of these teams are working on critical issues affecting students on campus, members of our local community in Prince George’s County and D.C., and even national and international issues. I’m endlessly impressed by the passion these students bring in tackling these great challenges, and I’m excited that Do Good can support their hard work through our Mini-Grant funding.
Cali Moore Program Coordinator

The Do Good Institute is excited to support and work with these innovative and motivated students. Read more about the student teams below.

Cared For: The Hopeful Project 

Cared For: The Hopeful Project supplies individuals experiencing homelessness with care packages including toiletries and hygiene products. At the end of the semester, students are encouraged to go to the common shops on campus to buy products to donate using their leftover dining dollars (which would otherwise expire). Cared For: The Hopeful Project volunteers then build and distribute the packages to homeless shelters in Prince George’s County. This Mini-Grant will be used to support the creation of the care packages, allowing Cared For: The Hopeful Project to grow its mission of supporting access to hygiene and health products, regardless of socioeconomic status. ($500)

Charles R. Drew Pre-Health Society

The Charles R. Drew Pre-Health Society is a pre-professional organization for undergraduates looking to join the allied health fields, especially undergraduates of underrepresented ethnic groups. The mission of the Society is to diversify the faces seen in healthcare. Each year, the Charles R. Drew Pre-Health Society hosts a networking event addressing the lack of African American, Latinx, and other underrepresented groups in medical schools, bringing together physicians, medical students, and UMD undergraduates for a discussion on how to be successful on the path to medicine. The symposium creates a community for individuals interested in medicine where they can share their experiences, benefit from mentorship opportunities, and learn from each other. This Mini-Grant will be used to support the costs associated with hosting this event. ($500)

College Mentors For Success  

College Mentors For Success (CMFS) was founded to minimize the high school drop-out rate and college readiness gap in Prince George’s County Public High Schools through mentoring. The first pilot is being launched in 2021 in conjunction with College Park Academy and will be piloted this spring. During the pilot, members of CMFS will provide College Park Academy students with a support system to help them prepare for higher education. Taking a student-center and caring pedagogical approach, CMFS plans to form long-lasting and strong connections with mentees that will help them grow and feel more confident in their futures. This Mini-Grant will be used to fund the necessary background checks that allow mentors to work with students. ($500)

Help Center at the University of Maryland 

Help Center at UMD is a peer counseling and crisis intervention hotline run and operated by trained undergraduate students at the University of Maryland. Help Center provides free, anonymous, and confidential drop-in and hotline services to University of Maryland students and the surrounding community. Students can call to talk about anything that's on their minds, from roommate conflicts to crisis situations. Help Center also offers free and confidential pregnancy test sticks, condoms, and dental dams. Help Center strives to provide meaningful and empowering peer support to all members of the UMD campus community. This Mini-Grant will be used to bolster Help Center’s marketing efforts so they are able to reach more students. ($400)

Humanity First @ University of Maryland

Humanity First at UMD (HF@UMD) is a student-led chapter that focuses on alleviating the impacts of poverty within our local community. HF@UMD has been involved in both local and global projects under the direction of Humanity First, a multinational non-profit organization that has provided humanitarian aid to more than 50 countries. In the past, HF@UMD has partnered with local food banks, collaborated with elementary schools to fight against educational inequality, and fundraised for a medical clinic in Venezuela. This Mini-Grant will help support a new initiative facilitating care package drives and deliveries to clinics and to Children’s National Hospital. ($500)

MedSurplus United 

MedSurplus United is a nonprofit organization aimed at reallocating surplus medical equipment and health supplies from US hospitals to under-resourced hospitals and clinics in South Asia and the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area. As a medical surplus recovery organization, they work to provide sustainable alternatives for unused functional supplies. MedSurplus United is developing MedSurplusNet, a new online platform for U.S. hospitals to inventory their surplus medical equipment and for hospitals in need to indicate supply shortages, maximizing the efficiency of surplus supply exchange. Currently, members are collecting donations of mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) from local nursing homes, physical therapy clinics, and other community members to ship to communities in need in Sri Lanka. This Mini-Grant will be used to subsidize the costs of storing and shipping these critical supplies. ($500)

Project College Guidance (COG) 

Project COG is a student-led organization founded on the principle that all students, regardless of background, income, or citizenship should have equal opportunity to access higher education. In order to combat the barriers that low-income English language learners face in the college application process, Project COG mentors work remotely and directly with high school students to support them through the college application process. Services offered include filling out applications, revising essays, and answering college-related questions. This past year, with the generous help of 35 undergraduate/graduate mentors, Project COG provided more than 3,400 hours of individualized mentorship to high school students at International High School at Langley Park in Prince George’s County. This Mini-Grant will help provide much needed school supplies to mentees facing hardships. ($500)

Re-Connect Online Performance Festival 

Re-Connect Online Performance Festival is a collective performance arts project using digital media technologies to reconnect artists and audiences during this socially distanced era. The festival closes this distance by providing an inclusive digital platform for artists to engage global audiences with new, challenging performance art. The first iteration of the festival showcased 45 live performances and 20 panel discussions featuring artists from Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, Romania, and more. By highlighting and serving artist communities where live public performances are restricted, Re-Connect Online Festival aims to spark thoughtful conversations about global cultures. This Mini-Grant will help fund the upcoming 2021 festival. ($500)

Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. 

Sigma Psi Zeta is a multicultural, Asian-interest Greek Organization, whose national philanthropy is to combat the violence against women in various forms. Every year, the Tau Chapter at the University of Maryland hosts a philanthropic event to educate the campus community about the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault and provides resources on how to support and empower survivors. In the past, the annual philanthropic event has raised $6,000 for nonprofit organizations in the DMV that uplift survivors, including Ramona’s Way and My Sister’s Place. This Mini-Grant will be used to supplement costs of fundraising materials, allowing more profits to go toward the Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP), the beneficiary of this year’s event. ($200)

Suspended Chaos 

Suspended Chaos is dedicated to promoting recycling and resilience. Recycled glass is one of the most problematic contaminators in the American recycling stream. As a way to encourage proper glass recycling, Suspended Chaos sells Desk Gems made from recycled glass, allowing people to witness the problem firsthand. Profits from Desk Gem sales are used to build 'The Glass Guide’; an interactive resource to help people understand and decontaminate the American recycling system. This Mini-Grant will go toward costs associated with scaling production of the glass studio. ($500)

Terps for Health Equity 

While the American Association of Medical Colleges has a guide for implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training into medical school curricula, it has not become a standard which every medical school has actively embraced. Terps for Health Equity is a community action project under the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellowship that aims to address healthcare inequities caused by a lack of cultural competency training in medical school curricula. This Mini-Grant will support a research study that will qualitatively collect and compare knowledge and attitudes of University of Maryland undergraduate pre-medical seniors and M4 students at University of Maryland School of Medicine regarding DEI in healthcare delivery.  Ultimately, Terps for Health Equity hope to highlight the importance of a DEI-focused curricular component. ($300)

The Community Health Awareness (Education) Initiative (CHAI) at College Park

The Community Health Awareness (Education) Initiative at College Park is a public health effort with the goal of promoting genomic literacy in the College Park community and increasing access to genetic testing as a preventative health measure among college students. CHAI hosts multiple educational events for UMD students throughout the academic year, all of which are virtual and include a range of genetics professionals as guest lecturers and/or panelists. CHAI aims to host a virtual genetic screening event at the end of the year during which students will have the opportunity to undergo genetic testing via the Victor Center, a national genetics-related nonprofit. This Mini-Grant will go toward subsidizing the cost of expensive genetic testing for all students who wish to participate. ($500)

The GUIDE Program (Girls United in Diverse Empowerment) 

The GUIDE Program was created with the purpose of connecting undergraduate women at UMD with young ladies who are freshman at local high school Parkdale High to learn from one another. The program is not concentration-based, but rather focused on life guidance and the high school-to-college transition. GUIDE serves students who have the potential to excel but may not have the resources to go further, and pairs them with a mentor invested in their success. This Mini-Grant will go toward costs associated with background checks for mentors. ($500)

The Language Project 

The Language Project is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote multilingual education for all. The Language Project seeks to ensure that everyone has access to the resources necessary to learn another language. In addition, it focuses on building a strong alliance of diverse advocates to spread awareness on the importance of language education. The Language Project empowers the next generation of youth passionate about multilingualism to take initiative in their local communities. This Mini-Grant will be used to help subsidize costs associated with maintaining nonprofit status and providing additional support to language learning students. ($500)

Theta Tau at UMD 

Through its outreach events, Theta Tau at UMD works to support the University of Maryland and its surrounding communities through outreach programs and volunteerism. The A. James Clark School of Engineering has recognized Theta Tau as one of the most influential and diverse STEM-related organizations on campus with 80+ current active members and more than 230 alumni around the world. Theta Tau is partnering with local middle and high school students to establish a robotics mentorship program and promote STEM education in the area, with an aim to remedy apprehensiveness to STEM, especially among young girls and people of color. The Mini-Grant will be used to purchase robotics kits that will allow students to create exciting and engaging projects. ($500)

For Media Inquiries:
Kaitlin Ahmad
Communications Manager, DGI
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