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22 Teams Receive Mini-Grant Funding to Support Do Good Projects and Ventures

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Thirty-six student teams applied for funding through the Fall 2018 Do Good Mini-Grant program to help with the development and implementation of their student-led, student-run proposals which aim to create a positive social impact for a social issue or cause. Applicants ranged in issue area from clean energy solutions to sexual assualt, from education equity to dental health access and so much more. 

The Do Good Institute granted funds to 22 teams, with teams receiving up to $500 each. In addition to funding, teams will receive coaching and support from the Do Good Accelerator. The Fall 2018 Mini-Grant awardees include:


Biokmir is focused on improving public health outcomes for people with Tuberculosis in developing countries through the development of more efficient, low-cost tools for diagnosis. Biokmir is currently in the research and design phase, and have received initial funding from the National Institute of Health to support this work. The Mini-Grant will be used to fund a trip to Morocco to build relationships with the government and other stakeholders to partner on this project. ($500)

Camp Kesem (UMD Chapter)

Camp Kesem at UMD started as a Public Leadership capstone project with four College Park Scholars in 2016. Last year, the group raised $30,000 to cover the cost of its first camp, which provided a free week of fun activities and a supportive community to children affected by a parent’s cancer. This year, to reach its fundraising goal of $45,000, Camp Kesem at UMD plans to hold a spring gala called Make the Magic. This event will help connect Camp Kesem at UMD with community partners, showcase its impact, and raise $9,000, or 20 percent of the annual fundraising goal. ($500)

Carving For a Cure

Carving For a Cure’s goal is to raise awareness about colon cancer through educating the University of Maryland campus about the disease and raising funds to donate to a national awareness campaign. The group is selling custom laser engraved coasters and other wooden items to college students to spark conversations and spread the word about the seriousness of colon cancer. ($100)

Charles R. Drew Medical Society

The Charles R. Drew Medical Society supports minority students in their difficult journey towards securing a profession in the medical field. This organization is hosting the Minority Males in Medicine Symposium (MMIMS), a dinner to bring together minority men in medicine in all different stages of their medical journey. Students will have the opportunity to network with doctors and medical students and have an open discussion about the challenges minority men face before and during their medical careers. This event will inspire University of Maryland’s pre-health men and give them the confidence to continue on their journey to medicine and ultimately increase matriculation of minority men to medical school. ($500)

Engineering World Health (UMD Chapter)

Engineering World Health develops medical devices and solutions for residents in third world countries. The UMD chapter of Engineering World Health is working to improve wheelchair accessibility for disabled residents in Uganda by collecting wheelchairs from local organizations, repairing and redesigning them, then distributing the wheelchairs in Uganda. The organization’s efforts aim to empower disabled residents to participate in economic and social endeavors as well as provide durable wheelchairs for long-term use. The UMD chapter was recognized as Chapter of the Year by the Engineering World Health Corporation for inspiring, educating and empowering others to improve healthcare in the developing world. ($500)

Foundational Learning and Mentorship Experience (FLAME)

FLAME provides after-school scientific enrichment and mentorship to students in Prince George's County. The program features weekly lessons in different scientific topics, hands-on experiments, and mini-projects in a small group setting. Outside of the classroom, mentees continue to explore science on field trips to locations including the National Air & Space Museum. This year, FLAME will serve 100 students from three different schools throughout Prince George’s County. FLAME plans to host a field trip to the University of Maryland campus introducing students to real-world applications of STEM through fun and exciting activities and demonstrations. ($500)

Greek Life Serves

Greek Life Serves works to alleviate food insecurity in the Washington, D.C. region by providing meals to homeless individuals and underprivileged children. More than 25 UMD fraternity and sorority chapters donate, deliver, and serve meals to four local Boys and Girls Clubs and food kitchens in the College Park area. Last semester, Greek Life Serves hosted its first annual Spring Festival Carnival, which brought more than 60 Boys and Girls Club students to campus to engage with 10 Greek chapters on Chapel Field. Each chapter had a display with interactive games showcasing their respective philanthropies to educate and inspire students to Do Good. Greek Life Serves plans to host the second annual Spring Festival Carnival in the 2019 spring semester. ($500)

Help Center

The Help Center at UMD is a peer counseling and crisis intervention hotline for University of Maryland students. The Help Center has been providing 100 percent free, high-quality counseling services to UMD students and the surrounding community for 48 years. Its services include counseling by phone, in-person walk-ins with no appointment required, as well as free pregnancy tests and condoms. The nonprofit plans to grow the number of students accessing free, on-campus mental health resources and increase recruitment efforts to make sure every UMD student knows they have someone to talk to when they call 301-314-HELP. ($500)


Hydraze (formerly FlushX) is a sustainability-driven social venture on a mission to save buildings, universities, and cities millions of gallons of water by eliminating empty toilet flushes. Hydraze has already secured more than $4,000 through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, the Office of Sustainability, and the Do Good Institute to prototype and test their proprietary water-sensing and automatic flushing device devices. This year, the organization will conduct a pilot study at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in partnership with University of Maryland Facilities Management. ($500)

Miles for Smiles

Miles for Smiles works to combat oral health problems in rural Honduras, while increasing awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. The organization was founded to bring a global issue closer to home and provide a way for students to make a positive impact on the world. Miles for Smiles hosts a 5K run around University of Maryland’s campus to raise awareness about the lack of oral education and technology that are available to impoverished communities in Honduras. ($500)

PERIOD. (UMD Chapter)

PERIOD. destigmatizes and celebrates menstrual health through service, education, and advocacy. PERIOD. @ UMD hosts fundraising events and distributes menstrual products to girls and women in the College Park, Baltimore, and greater D.C. communities. Last year, the chapter packaged and donated more than 3,000 period products. Looking ahead, PERIOD. @ UMD plans to advance a proposal for free and accessible menstrual products in campus-wide locations to the Student Government Association. ($500)

Public Health Without Borders

Public Health Without Borders (PHWB) is an organization of undergraduate and graduate students that aims to address global health disparities in communities where there is reduced access to quality health education or healthcare. PHWB’s service-learning approach provides health education materials and intervention-based workshops abroad to improve behaviors that lead to healthy outcomes by increasing public health knowledge. Over the last five years, the organization has grown from a handful of students and a single project in Peru to more than 200 members and four international projects all over the world in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and India. ($500)


Recyclify is a company that aims to create a self-sorting recycling bin to dramatically decrease waste contamination. Recyclify plans to build a self-sorting prototype and install it on college campuses, in business headquarters, malls, airports, and other public spaces. The organization entered the 2018 Do Good Challenge and advanced to Finals where they won third place. The first iteration of the venture consisted of an app that educated students on how to recycle properly and then rewarded them for proper waste disposal through discounts at local restaurants and vendors. Recyclify has now pivoted to creating a completely autonomous sorting waste bin. ($500)

ROOTS Africa

ROOTS Africa is a student-led organization that combats hunger and poverty in Liberia by empowering local farmers to learn and implement sustainable agriculture practices and by fostering communication between American and Liberian students. ROOTS plans to host the first annual "International Sustainable Agriculture Conference" during the Spring 2019 semester, which will be free and open to the public. The Conference will allow members of the UMD community to learn the challenges and successes of sustainable agriculture on both local and global levels. The Conference will include lectures from several Maryland County Farm Bureaus; opportunities for agriculture-based student organizations to display their projects to the community; a keynote address by a prominent member of the United States’ sustainable agriculture community; and  a video call with farmers and students in Liberia. ($500)

ROOTS Home and Abroad

ROOTS Home and Abroad educates and empowers communities, both at home and abroad, to create a sustainable quality of life. Last May, ROOTS traveled to Haiti and met with the community of Leogane and determined the city need for a new community center. When students returned, they began work with the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation to create a seminar course to research Haitian culture and sustainable design in developing countries. The group hopes this research will help prepare them to meet the community again in January - and if successful, the students will return with a building site for the community center which will be designed in a Spring 2019 architectural design studio course. ($500)

Scholars in Action

Scholars in Action connects College Park Scholars across programs, majors, and years, while working toward the common goal of service. Current and former student leaders plan and implement community service projects on campus and in the greater College Park area. Scholars in Action has coordinated five service projects, mobilized 30 volunteers, and provided nearly 100 hours of service since its launch in September 2018. ($500)

She’s the First (UMD Chapter)

She’s the First fights gender inequalities present in developing countries by encouraging education as a tool for social reform. She’s the First provides girls who will be first-generation high school students with the funds needed to reach graduation. The organization raises funds through various events including its signature “Bake a Change” cupcake sale, Zumba, and yoga events, and spreading awareness in the D.C. area. She’s the First’s project is centered around raising awareness about the importance of education in fighting gender equality. Over the last three years, the organization has been able to sponsor six scholars. ($100)

Sigma Psi Zeta

Sigma Psi Zeta is a multicultural, Asian-Interest Greek organization. Sigma Psi Zeta’s national philanthropy work is focused on combating the physical, emotional, and mental violence against women. Its annual SPEAK charity dinner has raised as much as $6,000 for organizations that give voice to victims and survivors of domestic violence, including Ramona’s Way, Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP), and CARE to Stop Violence. This year’s 10th annual SPEAK charity dinner will benefit My Sister’s Place. Sigma Psi Zeta aims to raise $6,000, bring 200 attendees to the event, and educate 1,000 students about the signs of domestic violence through the Purple Ribbon Project. ($500)

Supporting Hospitals Abroad with Resources and Equipment (SHARE)

SHARE was founded to establish a sustainable medical supplies pipeline, to encourage medical sustainability and enhance the quality of medical care abroad. The organization strives to provide hospitals in developing countries with unused medical equipment and supplies from hospitals in the U.S. Over the last five years, these hospitals have enabled SHARE to ship more than 1,000 pounds of medical supplies to hospitals abroad. SHARE plans to fund shipment costs of medical supplies collected from local hospitals in Maryland to a hospital in Nigeria to aid disadvantaged children. ($100)

Students Helping Honduras (UMD Chapter)

The University of Maryland student chapter of Students Helping Honduras raises funds to build schools in Honduras. Students Helping Honduras (SHH) is an international nonprofit dedicated to alleviating poverty and violence in rural Honduras through youth empowerment and education. UMD’s chapter of SHH hosts dozens of fundraisers throughout the year that engage both the UMD community, as well as the larger DMV community in achieving its mission. This year, Students Helping Honduras will host its annual Benefit Gala on April 13, 2019. ($500)

Terps for Service Members

Terps for Service Members serves military members and their families by volunteering with local organizations including the Bethesda USO Family and Warrior Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Terps for Service Members also raises funds for various veteran and military charities. This year’s Semper Fi Fund 5K will raise awareness and funds through a ‘ruck run’ where participants carry a weighted pack to represent the physical, emotional, and financial burdens veterans carry every day. Donations will help to mitigate medical costs for veterans who have been wounded in combat, are critically ill, or are catastrophically injured. ($500)

umttr (UMD Chapter)

The UMD umttr (you matter) benefit concert inspires the university community to unify around the promotion of  mental health support for youth. The benefit concert partners with Echostage, the number one live music venue in America, to raise money for local suicide prevention nonprofit umttr. Umttr is a community of young adults leading a movement to change the story from bullying, depression, and suicide to a compassionate culture where every person matters. ($100)

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Kaitlin Ahmad
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