Over the summer, the Do Good Mini-Grant program was assessed, evaluated, and re-envisioned for the 2020-2021 Academic year to better support students addressing the pressing issues affecting our communities today.
The program expanded its focus this fall to prioritize projects related to COVID-19 and racial justice as well as new or emerging teams and community-centered initiatives. In addition, applications are now being accepted in three rounds instead of just two (September, November, and February) to provide more chances for students to apply for funds and receive feedback.
Students are seeing these critical problems and really want to do something about it—now. And, they have the ideas, energy and the skills to do it. That’s definitely reflected in this round’s projects - they have common themes of racial equity, physical or mental health, and creating inclusive and supportive communities. Their dedication and drive to help others is impressive, especially during such challenging times.Cali Moore Mini-Grant Program Coordinator
Student teams could apply for up to $500 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. September 2020 Mini-Grant Awardees include:
- BitView supports students at Baltimore Polytechnic High School by bridging the gap between exposure and STEM degree completion. They help foster STEM interest, support students in understanding post-secondary options, and help develop emotional intelligence and tools needed to overcome imposter syndrome. These funds will be used to support more tutors and mentors to work directly with the high school students. ($500)
- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Student Chapter at the University of Maryland (DWB/MSF UMD) seeks to engage the campus community by educating them about its work with global humanitarian crises, and upholding the values of the organization by providing aid where it is needed most in the local community. DWB/MSF UMD plans to use the funds to create COVID-19 care packages to be sent to local homeless shelters and other facilities and organizations in need. ($500)
- Foundational Learning and Mentorship Experience (FLAME) provides after-school science enrichment and mentorship to students in Prince George's County through weekly lessons with different scientific topics, hands-on experiments, and mini-projects in a small group setting. They have redesigned their curriculum to a virtual science program and will use the funds to deliver more than 70 students packages with materials for virtual, interactive lessons. ($500)
- The Greenwood Project works to increase Black-business ownership by providing supportive resources in education, finances, and politics, community workshops, networking, and a Black-owned or operated business directory. The funds will be used to help increase programming and resources to new areas of Maryland. ($500)
- Multiracial Biracial Student Association (MBSA) provides a space for multi-ethnic students or anyone interested in exploring what it means to be biracial or multiracial. By coordinating with other cultural organizations, MBSA has expanded its reach and enhanced its conversations with more perspectives within the University of Maryland community. The team will use the funds to support virtual speaker events that bring a wider range of perspectives for members to explore their identities. ($200)
- Public Health Beyond Borders has the mission to reduce health disparities around the world and increase awareness about good health practices while exposing undergraduate and graduate students to opportunities for responsible global development work. Due to COVID-19 pandemic and the group’s inability to travel internationally, the team has plans to use the funds to safely create health videos and to help purchase additional video conferencing supplies to continue supporting their partners to reach their health goals. ($500)
- The SEID (Smith Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity) Project has the goal of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes in the academic classroom at Maryland Smith School of Business to improve student success. The group plans to use the funds to administer surveys, host focus groups, and create better resources so that all students can feel supported in business and entrepreneurship. ($500)
- YSocialWork, Inc is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established to advance youth and young adults in rewarding careers in social work. YSocialWork, Inc. offers two flagship programs: an 8-week certification program for Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties students interested in a career in social work and a year-long experiential classroom for social work and community college students. Funds will be used to support these programs to continue successfully in a safe format. ($500)
- Words & Wings supplies women, children, and other survivors of domestic violence with reading, writing, and art supplies to uplift and inspire as well as provide a variety of materials to allow for creative expression. Thus far, the group has accumulated more than 5,000 books, completed 10 supply drop-offs, and have connected with hundreds of survivors of domestic abuse. These funds will be used for cleaning supplies, storage options, and additional supplies so that donations can continue safely during COVID. ($500)