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25 Changemaker Organizations Awarded Do Good Mini-Grants

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Fifty-four student teams applied for funding through the Fall 2019 Do Good Mini-Grant program to implement their student-led, student-run proposals, which aim to create a positive social impact for a social issue or cause. Applicants ranged in issue areas from supporting students in STEM, to facilitating dialogues on race and ethnicity, and everything in between.

In the end, the Do Good Institute awarded grants to 25 teams, with teams receiving up to $500 to advance their projects and ventures. Included in these winners are three teams that were awarded Do Good Mini-Grants as part of the U21 Rise competition. Along with funding, all teams will receive coaching and project support at the Do Good Accelerator.

On November 14, all Mini-Grant awardees gathered in the Do Good Accelerator to meet each other, discuss their ideas, and learn more about Do Good Institute resources. With teams eager to begin, we are excited to announce the Fall 2019 Mini-Grant awardees:

Break Box Recycling           

Break Box Recycling provides 'sustainable stress relief' activities for the public in an effort to address the complex issue of glass recycling. Individuals can throw glass bottles in The Break Box - a custom-built bottle throwing trailer - and the broken glass, called cullet, is processed into alternative aggregate material that can be used for small construction projects or is up-cycled into glass jewelry that is sold on ‘CulletHouse’; the online gift shop for Break Box Recycling.. ($500)

Camp Kesem at University of Maryland   

Camp Kesem at University of Maryland is part of a national nonprofit that supports children through and beyond a parent’s cancer diagnosis. UMD’s chapter is one of 115 across the country that creates a free week-long summer camp that empowers children through the hardships of a parent’s diagnosis. In its third year of operation, they will continue to establish meaningful relationships with camper families through additional year-round efforts to support children at camp and beyond, such as sending birthday cards, ensuring that every child impacted by a parent’s cancer is never alone. ($500)

Chat Health   

Chat Health, a chatbot application endorsed by the University of Maryland School of Public Health, provides real-time information about preventative health services information and connects students with resources to access important health services. The app forwards more complex questions to representatives of the University of Maryland Health Center, using an SMS platform, broadening health communication. Through connections with multiple partners across the UMD campus, Chat Health aims to build a sustainable service for UMD students to gain access to crucial health knowledge. ($500)

Dedicated Undergrads Nurturing Kids (DUNK)   

DUNK is an after-school basketball program that runs throughout the school year and emphasizes the importance of good sportsmanship, strong leadership, and living a healthy lifestyle. Each week teams of student volunteers travel to schools around Prince George’s County to run programming for students including basketball drills, scrimmages, athletic conditioning, and presentations on healthy lifestyles. At the end of the year, students who participated in DUNK are invited to tour the University of Maryland and play in a tournament against other schools. ($500)

Engineering World Health  

The Engineering World Health (EWH) Chapter at the University of Maryland seeks to inspire and mobilize the biomedical engineering community to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare in developing countries. EWH brings together motivated students and provides the opportunity to repair, build, and learn about various medical devices. In partnership with Makerere University in Uganda, the team is developing a universal braking system for wheelchairs to fit a wide range of wheelchairs that have been donated from various sources but are currently not safe to use in an effort to liberate people with disabilities and empower them to participate more in their communities. ($400)

Food Recovery Network     

The Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a network of University of Maryland volunteers that recover surplus food from campus dining halls, catering kitchens, and sporting events, and donate it to those in need in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Food Recovery Network first started at UMD in 2011 and has since grown to become a nonprofit organization with a chapter in almost every state. All the food recovered at UMD is donated to the Christian Life Center (CLC) in Riverdale, MD, who then redistributes the recovered food to nine local churches and soup kitchens, as well as the general Riverdale community. ($500)

Foundational Learning and Mentorship Experience (FLAME)  

FLAME provides after-school science enrichment and mentorship to students in Prince George's County, featuring weekly lessons covering different scientific topics, hands-on experiments, and mini-projects in small group settings, as well as field trips to locations including the National Air & Space Museum. Through these extracurricular opportunities, FLAME seeks to empower the next generation of STEM leaders by supporting the academic, social, and emotional development of students from underrepresented groups. This year, FLAME will serve approximately 75 students from two different schools in Prince George’s County: Adelphi Elementary and Charles Carroll Middle. ($500)

Girl Up UMD 

Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign that works to support and empower girls around the world, focuses on five aspects of a girl’s life: education, health, safety, leadership, and documentation. Girl Up UMD aims to promote gender equality across campus and at the international level by raising awareness of issues that affect women and girls and empowering girls on campus to make change through advocacy, service events and fundraising. Girl Up UMD has run campaigns around International Day of the Girl, planned menstrual products drives, and organized advocacy and community-building events open to all on campus. ($250)

Iced Out Cosmetics 

Iced Out Cosmetics is black-owned cosmetics brand that caters to those most overlooked by the current cosmetics industry. Iced Out Cosmetics creates products specifically for dark skin women of color and LGBT+ individuals. Beyond inclusive products and marketing, Iced Out Cosmetics partners with nonprofit organizations that serve Black and LGBT+ members of the community facing hardships to provide access to beauty products that help restore a sense of self-worth and dignity. ($500)

Innovation Stations 

Innovation Stations is an outreach initiative focused on developing free-to-use makerspaces for local community centers. They are currently partnered with the City of Gaithersburg to bring the first makerspace to the Robertson Park Youth Center (RPYC), an after-school hub for Gaithersburg middle schoolers to socialize and participate in structured extracurricular activities. Innovation Stations strives to create an interest in STEAM among the RPYC youth by stocking the makerspace with STEAM-related tools and kits, creating guidebooks students can use independently, supporting RPYC staff with curricula for group activities, and engaging families by organizing STEAM-related community events in the space. ($500)

Kids Excelling in Math and Science (KEMS)        

Kids Excelling in Math and Science (KEMS) provides free after-school enrichment via STEM activities for students at Hyattsville Middle School in Prince George's County. The KEMS curriculum covers natural, environmental, and engineering sciences with an emphasis on “hands-on” science and using science to help solve societal problems. The theme for the 2019-2020 academic year is “Sky Spies: Science and Challenges of Space and Space Exploration.” KEMS scholars are exploring their place in the universe, the current state of space exploration, and how scientific and technological advances in space sciences contribute to everyday life. ($500)

La Voz Unida

La Voz Unida is an independent student-run newspaper dedicated to covering the Latinx community both nationwide and on the University of Maryland campus. La Voz Unida was established to provide the Latinx community, as well as other marginalized groups on campus, a voice. La Voz Unida newspaper will serve as a medium between the Latinx campus community and the University of Maryland administration to promote, protect, and advocate for diversity and inclusivity. As an organization dedicated to the interests and betterment of Latinx communities, they plan to partner with local middle and high schools to provide writing workshops and additional opportunities for underprivileged minority scholars to explore journalism. ($150)

Multiracial Biracial Student Association  

The Multiracial Biracial Student Association (MBSA) strives to promote cultural awareness and create a community for multiracial students at the University of Maryland. MBSA will be hosting a Brunch Discussions Series to facilitate conversations surrounding cultural awareness issues in the community. Each brunch is co-sponsored by other cultural organizations on campus and aims to create a feeling of mutual community. Although MBSA typically caters to multiracial individuals, these brunch discussions link multiracial struggles to those of other minority groups in an effort to help others gain a deeper understanding of issues that affect minority populations, and the reasons behind them. ($500)


Pawsible is a puppy-raiser assistance program that assists students raising future guide dogs and vet dogs who are involved in the Guide Dog Foundation chapter at UMD. Pawsible operates a dog food pantry and a financial assistance fund to assist puppy raisers who are having difficulty making ends meet or are suddenly unable to afford the costs of puppy raising. Pawsible has been able to ensure that all UMD raisers and puppies are able to eat and sustain themselves without hardship. Pawsible plans to maintain and grow the assistance they can provide, as well as support additional enrichment events for raisers and puppies. ($500)

Peer to Peer (Third Place UMD U21 RISE Competition)

Peer to Peer is a student organization at the University of Maryland that partners with the International Rescue Committee to provide after school programming for refugee youth in the Prince George's County area, four to five times per week. The program has 30 UMD student mentors who work with 63 refugee students at two schools and one library. Peer to Peer focuses on homework assistance and SAT preparation, as well as helps plan and host weekend trips and activities. ($500)


Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society (PLUMAS) is a social justice and advocacy organization focused on discussing substantive issues affecting Latinx and other marginalized communities on UMD’s campus. By providing a safe, proactive space where students can discuss relevant topics, PLUMAS seeks to foster civic engagement and awareness through education, advocacy, and acts of community service. PLUMAS created the DREAM Gala and DREAM Fund to financially support undocumented students in case of emergency legal expenses are needed, such as status renewals. In the last three years, the annual DREAM Gala has raised over $9,000, allowing over a dozen students to renew their DACA status. These funds also provided two academic scholarships for undocumented students. ($500)

Public Health Without Borders (Second Place UMD U21 Rise Competition)

Public Health Without Borders (PHWB) is a service-learning student organization that provides health education and intervention-based workshops abroad where students are engaging in cultural exchange, practical public health skill-building, and analysis of health needs. Currently, there are ongoing projects in Peru, India, and Sierra Leone where volunteers deliver workshops on topics including first aid, infectious disease, oral hygiene, and nutrition. Through PHWB’s Local Projects team, the group has developed a variety of partnerships with Prince George’s County schools in an effort to apply its community-based interventions to local youth. ($500)

Rendered Inc.           

Rendered Inc. is a second-hand clothing shop that aims to educate consumers about the harms of “fast-fashion” and provide alternative shopping opportunities that are sustainable while still fashionable. Rendered Inc. vends quality clothing received from thrift stores and consignment shops to recycle quality apparel, helping shoppers develop a unique wardrobe while also keeping clothes out of landfills. In addition to providing a marketplace for gently used clothes, Rendered Inc. hosts an assortment of events such as group field trips to thrift stores, community service clean-ups, clothing swaps, and pop-up shops celebrating creativity in awareness of different issues. ($500)

ROOTS Africa (First Place UMD U21 RISE Competition)

ROOTS Africa is a student-led organization that combats hunger and poverty by connecting academic institutions and experts in the U.S. to farming communities in Africa. The program focuses on innovative and sustainable agricultural practices while emphasizing the importance of youth-based involvement. ROOTS Africa and the Liberian International Christian College have launched the Next-Gen Farmer Outreach Program in Liberia which seeks to engage and transform Liberian youth into agricultural activists in their communities. ($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 through the power of design. Comprised of students from the School of Architecture, Roots Home and Abroad helps students use their design skills to give back to communities all over the globe. Currently, a Roots Home and Abroad team is working with Prince George’s County District 2 to create and install four “little libraries” in the communities of Takoma Park, Chillum, and Langley Park, which act as stationary book sharing centers. The goal is to work with community members to create little libraries capable of withstanding the outdoor weather conditions so that the communities can benefit from them for years to come ($500)


Synapto  is an early-stage biotech company with a diagnostic device that can screen for Alzheimer’s disease more accurately and cost-effectively than any other modality. Synapto’s device combines machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms with portable EEG to empower a physician to make a diagnosis with objective data early on in a patient’s life and can better support patients Synapto is working to  increase the accuracy of its model through acquisition of new data to ultimately create a consumer software package that implements its models and makes it simple for un-specialized physicians to use, combating Alzheimer’s disease like never before. ($500)

Terps for Service Members

Terps for Service Members (TFSM) seeks to improve the lives of military members, veterans and their families through volunteering and fundraising. One of Terps for Service Members’ primary goals is to help University of Maryland students connect and give back to the military community. Civilians are often unaware of the sacrifices made by military members and their families, and Terps for Service Members is determined to change this. Whether it be through the annual Holiday Care Package Drive, annual 5K Ruck & Run or the many other volunteer opportunities offered in partnership with various  organizations, TFSM is always interested in how they can make their impact larger. ($500)


TerpsVote envisions a University of Maryland that has a positive voting culture and encourages students to engage in life-long civic engagement practices. TerpsVote works to increase civic engagement by educating the campus and institutionalizing positive voting behavior through the production of online resources and tools, in-person tabling and events, and increased education and awareness of civic engagement, making civic engagement less intimidating to students. The TerpsVote Coalition is a combination of faculty and student stakeholders that represent different populations of student life who partner together to advocate for a voter-friendly university. ($500)

Young Scientists Initiative 

Young Scientists Initiative (YSI) is a student-run organization on campus that conducts interactive, hands-on STEM workshops after school in Prince George's County Public Schools. Located in cafeterias and media centers after school, one can find elementary school students ‘oohing’ and ‘awing’ as household ingredients are transformed into a Newtonian fluid (slime) or when chemical reactions are exploited to blow up balloons. YSI was founded to open up additional avenues into STEM education by making science fun and accessible to the local community. ($200)  

Your Rights in Research Project   

Your Rights in Research is committed to facilitating connection and understanding between the university and the local community. The group is offering community-centered training on the protections and rights that people can expect if they participate in research. The workshop will provide realistic scenarios where participants learn what to listen for and what questions to ask before they volunteer personal information. Training will be provided by collaborative community researchers who have experience in both research design and participation. ($500)

For Media Inquiries:
Kaitlin Ahmad
Communications Manager, DGI
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