BELLEVUE, Wash. — May 31, 2022 — T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and the T-Mobile Foundation today announced the 15 winners of the 2022 Changemaker Challenge, the nationwide contest that gives young leaders between the ages of 13 and 18 the opportunity to level up their ideas for creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future with networking, mentorship, and seed money.
Following more interest in the program from youth innovators than ever before, winning ventures from this Changemaker Challenge, the fourth sponsored by T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka, came from teams focused on three project categories: Digital Empowerment, Equity in Action and Thriving Planet. Submissions tackled issues ranging from food insecurity and combatting stereotypes around boys reading to making STEM education accessible for all.
Every winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. later this summer for the three-day Changemaker Lab to get coaching and mentorship from T-Mobile leaders, skills training from Ashoka, and networking opportunities with other winning teams.
Winning teams also receive seed money to fund their projects. Five winners in each of the three categories have been awarded $5,000 each in seed money. From those top 15 teams, one project per category was selected to receive an additional $5,000 seed funding (for a total of $10,000 per team), and the opportunity to pitch their projects to T-Mobile senior leaders and the T-Mobile Foundation at the Changemaker Lab in Bellevue, Wash., later this summer.
Among the three category winners who will present at the Changemaker Lab, one will be selected as the Grand Prize Winner and receive another $5,000 — for a total of $15,000 — plus a one-on-one meeting with a T-Mobile senior leader for additional guidance on how they can grow their venture.
“We were blown away by record-breaking interest in this fourth year of the Changemaker Challenge, and we’re so inspired by these young innovators who are working to make real change happen through big and bold ideas,” said Janice V. Kapner, Chief Communications Officer for T-Mobile. “Paving the way for change by seeing a challenge and finding novel ways to fix it is the Un-carrier way – and these bright young leaders are doing just that! We can’t wait to see how they create a more sustainable, equitable and connected world for us all.”
Since the Changemaker Challenge launched in 2018, T-Mobile, The T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka have fielded over 1,000 total applicants. Following the Changemaker Lab this summer, the program will have awarded roughly $385,000 in funding to winning teams.
“From making technology more accessible to creating new spaces for learning and collaboration, these determined young people have realized their power to create change in the world,” said Tia Johnston Brown, Executive Director for Ashoka Youth Years U.S. “We congratulate the winners of the 2022 Changemaker Challenge, and we hope their work in the world serves to motivate all young people to dream, build a team, and change their world."
For more information about the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge, visit t-mobile.com/changemaker
Winners of the 2022 Changemaker Challenge
For more details about each winning project, check out the 2022 Changemaker Challenge Lookbook.
Digital Empowerment - Top Category Winner
Safe Teens Online (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)
A global, youth-led peer-to-peer initiative that educates teenagers on online privacy and safety, encouraging inclusivity, safe habits, and emotional well-being.
Equity In Action - Top Category Winner
MiSendero (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
MiSendero works to meaningfully integrate Latin American English learners into their school communities by facilitating mutual learning experiences for all students.
Thriving Planet - Top Category Winner
Tobelli (Aurora, Ill.)
Biodegradable food packaging that repurposes the cellulose found in tobacco to create a thin, safe material to help reduce waste.
Bridge the Gap Initiative (North Royalton, Ohio)
A student-run organization designed to help senior citizens navigate the digital world by teaching them valuable skills like texting and video calling using their smart phones.
STEM for the South Bronx (Bronx, N.Y.)
A high school robotics team with a vision to create an education center that is open to the public to explore the world of STEM.
Scholars Program (Fairfax, Va.)
An organization whose goal is to expand STEM education and STEM opportunities for minority groups underrepresented in the field.
MedTechConnect (Louisville, Ky.)
A group working to provide technical and personal support to ensure senior citizens are informed about and have access to vaccinations and basic healthcare technology.
Equity In Action
Books N Bros (St. Louis, Mo.)
A virtual and in-person book club founded to amplify African American literacy and uplift stories with Black and Brown characters to encourage more diversity in books.
AUesome (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
A therapy kit and a digital app designed for parents, educators, and treatment centers to support children on the autism spectrum.
Dorothy’s Calculator (Los Angeles, Calif.)
A website that curates informational resources on gender identity and offers support spaces for trans and nonbinary youth in the greater LA area.
Signisa (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.)
An organization working to develop an AI-powered sign language learning application offering free, accessible courses.
STAR’s Food Sovereignty Project (Leupp, Ariz.)
An effort to expand local gardens and teach community members how to grow and prepare their own meals and help offset food insecurity throughout the Navajo Nation reservation.
Recycle My Battery (Edison, N.J.)
A non-profit working to reduce the environmental impact of batteries by installing free-to-use recycling bins in public locations throughout their community.
Open Source Autonomous Boat (OSAB) (Portland, Ore.)
OSAB is working to design and build small autonomous vessels powered by solar energy with the purpose of monitoring and protecting ocean, river and lake environments and ecosystems.
FYDER (San Antonio, Texas)
An effort to recycle plastic bulk bags into flexible, durable 3D printer filament to extend the life of otherwise discarded materials.
T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com
About T-Mobile Foundation
The T-Mobile Foundation is committed to changing the world for good. The Foundation advances positive change in our communities by supporting causes that focus on youth development, and by providing opportunities for T-Mobile employees to engage in causes that benefit the communities where they live and work. The T-Mobile Foundation, created and funded by T-Mobile US, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a Section 501(c)(3) private foundation.
Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, Ashoka has supported more than 3,800 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker—a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.
T-Mobile US, Inc. Media Relations