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By Kari Sherrodd, senior manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs
After reviewing impressive entries from more than 50 countries, our judging panel for this year’s Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change contest has finished the tough task of selecting 20 finalists. Now we’re asking you to make five of these inspiring change-makers our grand prize winners and our newest YouthSpark Ambassadors.
Starting today through April 22, you can vote once a day for the project that inspires you the most. To help you out, each of the 20 finalists created a video sharing more about themselves and their projects.
Watch their videos and cast your vote today!
Meet the Finalists
Many of the finalists are passionate about increasing access to STEM education and digital literacy skills training, or using technology to enhance curriculum. “I think it’s up to community leaders, like myself, to provide as many resources as possible to help bridge the skills gap, creating a smoother transition into a workforce that’s increasingly reliant on technology,” finalist Aaron Carr shared.
From left to right: Aaron Carr, Arturo Lucatero, Dominic Co, Juan Carlos Murillo
From left to right: Laura Fulton, Osazee Paul, Sathya Narayanan Subramanian
Other finalists are determined to combat social injustice and inequality. As finalist Chelsea Montes de Oca explained, “No child deserves to have their future determined by their zip code. Every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
From left to right: Chelsea Montes de Oca, Jeremy Goss, Sara Stifler
Several projects aim to provide therapy through music, poetry and play. “I have found my place in the world helping others,” shared finalist Brandon MacDougall. “Creative expression saved me, and it will save others.”
From left to right: Brandon MacDougall, Cynthia Poon, Daniela Orozco Vizcaino
Three of our finalists are focused on youth empowerment and mentorship. “We want to inspire and motivate young adults to explore new things, to discover unknown possibilities, and ultimately live a more productive and fulfilled life,” explained finalist Brandon Polack.
From left to right: Brandon Polack, Tayler Ulmer, Yuhao (Danny) Huang
And these finalists created projects designed to address global health issues and disaster response. “I believe that health is a human right,” explained finalist Ali Greatsinger. “I want to help these communities harness their own potential to create healthy environments.”
From left to right: Ali Greatsinger, Kumar Vivek, Mohamed Iqbal Isham Mohamed, Ryan Justin Reyes
We’ll announce the winners on May 1, so check back then to see if your favorite project won! Remember to vote once a day between now and April 22 and spread the word about #youthspark.
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