The IGNITEgood Millennial Impact Challenge is asking individuals around the country to share their solutions for social change through service. There is $100,000 in funding from the Heartfelt Foundation and The Huffington Post available for 10 winners, who could be anyone from a high schooler with innovative ideas to the president of an established social impact organization.
As long as you -- or a nominee -- are 30 years old or younger, you're eligible to win. Ideas must be submitted before 6 p.m. EDT on October 19, 2012.
But today, we're proud to announce the two winners of our Millennium Impact Challenge grants, each worth $1,000, given to the best entries submitted before the early entry deadline on September 21, 2012. These two innovators were selected by our selection committee -- you can learn more about them here.
The first winner, from the start-up track, is CharityMiles. It's a free GPS-enabled smartphone app that lets users track workouts on their smartphones while they raise money for good causes. For every mile a user logs walking, running or biking, they earn mini donations to a charity of their choice -- user earn 10 cents per mile on a bike and 25 cents per mile on their feet. Corporate sponsors donate funds raised to one of nine charities, including Habitat for Humanity, the World Food Programme and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (with more on the way).
"People love to give back," said Gene Gurkoff, CharityMiles founder and CEO. "We are making
it significantly easier for them to give back by allowing them to do so on their own time, on their own turf and through their own sweat--without having to reach into their own pockets for anything other than their smartphone."
Every mile matters. See how far your money goes. Download CharityMiles free for iPhone from the App Store and on Google Play for Android devices.
Kennedy Odede is the early-entry prize winner winner from the established organization track. Odede, 28, is president and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), and has come a long way from humble beginnings selling peanuts on the side of the road to help put himself and his seven siblings through school. Beating the odds, Odede became the first person from Nairobi's Kibera slum to graduate from a four-year college -- Wesleyan University. But Odede's story is really about the impact his organization has had on the people in Kibera, young women and girls in particular.
"Our model for change starts with a girl," said Odede. "Educating a girl in places like Kibera means she will earn more and invest 90 percent of earnings in her family, be three times less likely to contract HIV, and have fewer, healthier children more likely to reach adulthood. "
SHOFCO combats extreme urban poverty and champions gender equality by linking free education for girls to high-value, holistic community services. Women and girls -- the most vulnerable population in Kibera -- are at the center of SHOFCO's focus, but their services are integrated and accessible for all community members in Kibera. Services include both primary and women's health care, comprehensive HIV care, adult education, business skills and training, access to information and computers, gender violence support, sanitation, and clean water.
There are signs the solution is working. The majority of participants participants perform at or above their American grade-level and those young women in the micro-enterprise programs earn 50 percent more than the average Kibera household. Reports of sexual violence have also declined. Those are major steps forward in a community where girls contract HIV at rates five times that of their male counterparts, and where 43 percent of girls are out of school (compared to 29 percent of boys).
Remember, you've got 10 days left to get involved. We're looking for smart ideas in five areas: opportunity, which includes economic and job creation; health and wellness; education; green; and world. For the most part, anything and everything goes, provided the solution has an explicit community component and proof of impact.
Have a way to make job training more accessible via the Web? Working on a way to reduce food waste by partnering with local homeless shelters? Using technology to change the way you interact with your doctor -- before you ever step food in his or her office? We want to hear about it.
Don't miss your shot at $10,000. Enter today in four easy steps.