This story was originally published 11 February 2014 by Kari Sherrodd, Senior Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, on the Microsoft Citizenship Blog.
Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change is back for a second year! Are you up for the challenge?
When it comes to social change, launching entrepreneurial ventures and coming up with the next generation of big ideas, we know that nothing matches the creativity and passion of youth. Through March 5, you can enter Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change which is part of Microsoft YouthSpark, our company-wide commitment to create education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 300 million young people by 2015. Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change asks young people aged 18-25 to submit an idea for a social good project designed to spark change in their communities or around the world for the chance to win amazing prizes*, including a travel experience to the Amazon and the latest Microsoft products. Entering the contest is easy. Simply answer a few questions about your social good project and how Windows and Office could help you make it a reality.
Everyone who enters will receive a $10 donation gift card for Microsoft YouthSpark on Global Giving to help you fund and follow social good projects for young people around the world.
Twenty Finalists will receive a Surface 2 (or equivalent device) with Office 365 University.
Five Grand Prize Winners will receive:
A travel experience to the Amazon to learn about creating change
$2,500 cash to help kick-start their ideas
A Microsoft technology bundle including a Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One*
The opportunity to serve as a Microsoft YouthSpark ambassador and take advantage of Microsoft YouthSpark training and resources
Once the contest entries have been received, our judges will narrow the entries to 20 finalists, who will be revealed on 15 April. Then we’ll open voting to the public – everyone can vote for their favorite project once a day until 22 April. We’ll announce our five grand prize winners on 1 May, which will mark the end of the contest, but the beginning of another journey for the winners as they get ready to explore Ecuador and learn about leadership, conservation, biodiversity and rural development issues in the Amazon rainforest.
We welcome entries from anyone who is thinking of (or already) creating positive change in small or big ways. Your idea may be new and untested, or something you’ve been doing for years. Whatever the idea, we want to hear it! If you’re looking for inspiration, check out last year’s winners and watch the video to see what they’re up to now.
*No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to individuals 18 - 25 years of age at time of entry. Contest is void in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and where prohibited. Entry period ends at 11:59:59 a.m. ET (16:59:59 GMT) on 5 March 2014. See full Official Rules for details.