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Incredible Students Selected to Spend Summer 2024 Scaling their Projects and Ventures as Accelerator Fellows

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Students gathered around a white table with a garage door behind them in the Do Good Accelerator

Passionate and driven students from across campus are spending the summer as Accelerator Fellows to explore, test and scale up their ideas, projects and ventures while working with peers who are also tackling today’s grand challenges. Throughout the 8-week program, students spend time participating in 1:1 coaching sessions, working independently on their projects, and participating in developmental activities and programs that provide insights to valuable tools and resources such as workshops, panel discussions, and other community events that increase project development and impact. Fellows were selected after a competitive application process and receive stipends to support their work over the course of the program.

Our Summer Fellows have hit the ground running this summer as they embark on this eight-week journey to scale up their social impact initiatives in hopes of improving the lives of individuals in various societies, families in many countries, students of all ages, and communities nationwide. Our theme for the summer is to have fun while initiating change!
Kisha McNeill Do Good Accelerator Manager

2023-2024 Do Good Accelerator Fellows are powered in part by the generous support of The Allstate Foundation. The Allstate Foundation empowers youth to serve and improve communities. The Foundation does this by providing youth with opportunities and resources that enable them to serve and preparing adults to support their service journey.

Meet this Summer's Accelerator Fellows:

Wadi Ahmed

Wadi Ahmed , The Oromo Student Association

Senior studying information studies, Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Oromo Student Association is a cultural association dedicated to advocating, empowering, and educating about the Oromo people of Ethiopia. The organization's mission is to give a place for like-minded students to create meaningful change in the issues affecting the Oromo people, most notably in education, where the Oromo Student Association is trying to focus their efforts on improving access to art education in rural areas of the Oromia region.

Michelle Akem

Michelle Akem, Dialectable

Junior studying information science and biology, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences / College of Information Studies

Dialectable is a language-learning app centered around conversation-based mini-games that introduce users to relevant and common conversation phrases in their dialect. The target audience is later-generation immigrants who have little to no experience with speaking their language and want to study conversations to apply immediately to their real lives.

Yara Ayache

Yara Ayache, The Spirit of Success

Senior studying psychology and public health sciences (Minors: nonprofit leadership and social innovation, Korean studies) College of Behavioral and Social Sciences / School of Public Health / School of Public Policy

The Spirit of Success is a Baha’i-inspired podcast and program that emphasizes the importance of using your life and career as a vehicle for serving and helping to advance humanity; analyzes the important impact that doing so has in creating meaningful change in the world; discusses the concept of success; and inspires and empowers people, especially youth, to pursue their dream or desired careers and find a path in life about which they are passionate. 

Marlon Cruz

Marlon Cruz, Uniendo Voces Latinas

Senior studying fire protection engineering, School of Engineering 

Uniendo Voces Latinas aims to empower both documented and undocumented immigrants by harnessing the strength of community. The organization achieves this through political education, resource provision and community-building initiatives, with a particular focus on bridging language and cultural barriers within the Latino community.

Emre Derin

Emre Derin, Derin Foundation

Senior studying physics, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

The Derin Foundation aims to support medically underserved communities throughout the world. This summer, the organization will build and expand its fundraising efforts, establish more partnerships with medical institutes, and advocate for increased awareness regarding the state of underserved medical communities around the world.

Rachel Fredman

Rachel Fredman, Ready to Advocate

Senior studying history communications & law and society, College of Arts and Humanities / College of Behavioral Social Sciences

Ready to Advocate is developing and implementing a fellowship program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in partnership with the Arc Prince George's County and other community organizations.

Athena Garcia

Athena Garcia, Deconstructing the True Impact of Corporate Social Change

Senior studying public policy, School of Public Policy

“Deconstructing the True Impact of Corporate Social Change" is a thought-provoking podcast that embarks on a profound exploration of the historical injustices ingrained within certain for-profit enterprises. With a keen eye on the societal landscape, this podcast meticulously dissects the strategies adopted by companies in their pursuit of social responsibility and critiques the efficacy of these strategies, bringing to light their inherent flaws and identifying crucial areas for enhancement.

Ezekiel Gunawan

Ezekiel Gunawan, Ascend Leadership

Junior studying finance and information systems, Robert H. Smith School of Business 

Ascend Leadership's mission is to empower API (Asian/Pacific Islander) and Pan-Asian business students by connecting them to real-world resources, networking channels and mentorship for career development. This project is targeted toward increasing Ascend's outreach among the University of Maryland to majors outside of the business space, such as computer science, information science and engineering.

Marilyn Santacruz

Marilyn Iriarte Santacruz, Interventions to Support Ethnic-Racial Identity Development

Ph.D. candidate in information studies, College of Information Studies 

This initiative aims to design tools to better understand how Latino youth, in middle adolescence (ages 14 - 17) develop their ethnic-racial identity while navigating between two worlds. This initiative will support adolescents in this complex developmental process, while also involving their parents and practitioners.

Jehnae Linkins

Jehnae Linkins, Don't Adjust Your C.R.O.W.N.

Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, School of Engineering 

Don't Adjust your C.R.O.W.N. is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering individuals of color to embrace their authentic selves and break free from societal stereotypes through free workshops that promote self-confidence, self-expression and self-pride.

Joanna Mok

Joanna Mok, Celebration!

Ph.D. candidate in international education policy, College of Education 

Celebration! is a student-led platform to facilitate and drive cross-departmental experiential teaching and learning by collectively celebrating sustainability. The organization’s mission is to showcase how passionate students, faculty and staff from different programs and offices across campus are working toward and discussing sustainability from different perspectives, creating a connected learning community and envisioning an inclusive future instead of reinforcing academic silos.

Samai Patel

Samai Patel, App Dev Club

Senior studying computer science and advanced cybersecurity, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

App Dev Club is a student organization that aims to bridge the gap between academic learning and real professional experience by organizing student-led projects for large companies. App Dev Club secured the first place prize at the 2024 Do Good Challenge in addition to the Audience Choice Award. 

Autumn Perkey

Autumn Perkey, Red Silence

Ph.D. candidate in government and politics, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences 

Red Silence educates and empowers individuals about issues surrounding relationship violence, red flags and existing resources . The goal of the organization is to educate, spread awareness and increase access to resources at UMD and the broader community through literature, podcasts and events. 

Ali Rajabi

Ali Rajabi, Science Competitions Advocating for Learning Equity (SCALE)

Senior studying public health science, minor in innovation and entrepreneurship, School of Public Health / School of Business  

Science Competitions Advocating for Learning Equity (SCALE) is a student-run organization at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a mission to promote STEM education in underserved Prince George’s County elementary schools. SCALE is devoted to growing student interest in science and reducing inequity in local elementary schools by sparking meaningful competition between students that fosters a positive learning environment while simultaneously reinforcing the science curriculum.

Evelyn Scott

Evelyn (Evie) Scott, Exchange Roots

Senior studying business management and agricultural & resource economics, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources / Robert H. Smith School of Business

Exchange Roots is a digital farmer's market designed to promote local food systems,  allowing small farmers and home gardeners to sell or exchange produce in their local community.

Arshad Shaik

Arshad Shaik, Astron Robotic Systems

Graduate student in mechanical engineering (robotics), School of Engineering

Astron Robotics Systems is dedicated to addressing the pressing safety issue of heated steam plant manhole covers on the University of Maryland campus. Astron Robotics recognizes the significance of optimizing the infrastructure assessment process to prevent accidents, reduce survey time, and ultimately create a safer environment for everyone on campus. 

Fransiska Silitonga

Fransiska Silitonga, Mentoring for the Future

Graduate student in international education policy, College of Education 

Mentoring for the Future provides mentorship for marginalized middle school students in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to encourage school retention. The mentorship includes character building, learning mindset, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, learning access and preparation and community engagement. 

Meg Smolinski

Meg Smolinski, Walk with an Arborist and Your Baby

Graduate student in extension education

Walk with an Arborist and Your Baby aims to connect new parents to nature with guided garden tours on the University of Maryland campus. The organization aims to help decrease the isolation and loneliness that often comes with parental leave and the birth of a new baby.

Olevia Tinpaw

Olevia Tinpaw, Business Beyond Borders

Freshman studying operations management & business analytics, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Business Beyond Borders is an organization dedicated to bridging educational and opportunity disparities among state of Maryland students. Business Beyond Borders initiatives involve helping historically underrepresented students, many of whom are refugees and immigrants, gain educational and business opportunities.  

Dennis Tudor

Dennis Tudor, The Blood Pressure Screening Project

Sophomore studying neurobiology and physiology & public health science, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

The Blood Pressure Screening Project is a student-led organization dedicated to providing free and accessible blood pressure screenings for the community to tackle heart disease.

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