Earlier this year we launched Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change—a contest that encouraged young people aged 18 to 25 around the world to submit an idea for a social good project designed to spark change in their communities. Today, we are proud to announce this year’s five outstanding grand prize winners. Among the winners, chosen by public vote, four countries are represented including one inspiring student from the Philippines! 

 

Congratulations to Dominic Co from Diliman, Quezon City in the Philippines who plans to develop an online curriculum to supplement the teaching of literature by Jose Rizal, whose works helped spark the rebellion that ultimately led to Philippine independence after 333 years of Spanish colonial rule. Dominic envisions a website where the full text of the books can be accessed, including translations into English and other languages, historical information and articles by preeminent Rizal scholars. The site will also be a place where students can discuss the books with each other, making the stories come alive with today’s high school students who were born more than 100 years after the books were written.

“In a country like the Philippines, where approximately 37 million Filipinos use online social media every day, technology and the Internet would serve as powerful devices to reach millions of people and have Rizal’s stories heard and understood,” said Dominic.

Later this year, along with Juan Carlos Murillo from Mexico, Americans Laura Fulton and Sara Stifler and Sathya Narayanan Subramanain from India, Dominic will embark on a volunteer trip to the Amazon rainforest to learn about social entrepreneurship, leadership, conservation and rural development issues. To support turning their ideas into reality, the winners will also receive a $2,500 cash grant and a Microsoft technology bundle including a Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One

Thank you to everyone who submitted their ideas! When it comes to social change, launching entrepreneurial ventures and coming up with the next generation of big ideas, Microsoft believes that nothing matches the creativity and passion of youth. We’re inspired by the stories from everyone who entered, and we look forward to continuing our mission to inspire and reward young people who have the passion and creativity to make their communities and the world a better place.

To read more about these amazing young people and their projects, visit the Microsoft News Center. Check back as we share updates on the winners through this blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.