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Eight Students to Spend Summer Scaling Impact as Accelerator Fellows

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a picture of the do good accelerator window which has the shell logo on it, with the word "accelerator" printed underneath

The Do Good Institute is thrilled to announce that eight motivated and intelligent students have been selected as Do Good Accelerator Fellows this summer! The Summer Accelerator program provides students with resources and opportunities to explore, test, or scale up their idea, project, or venture while working with peers who are also tackling important social issues. This semester — through entirely virtual programming —  students will meet with their peers, participate in 1:1 coaching sessions with field experts, engage in robust workshops, and immerse themselves in various group activities with industry leaders. 

Fellows were selected after a competitive application process and will receive a stipend of $1,000 to support their work over the course of the program. From providing public health services to closing the education inequality gap, read more about the summer cohort below: 

Cornelius Conway, Pen to Paper Foundation 

Pen to Paper Foundation is a nonprofit organization in the District of Columbia that seeks to fill the skills gap of underserved LGBTQ+ community members by providing them with interview prep resources, resume writing workshops, writing tutorials, professional headshots, and other training and resources. Pen to Paper is a 'for-us-by-us' organization, founded and run by two members of the LGBTQ+ community who are dedicated to providing much-needed support to underserved queer people, empowering them to unlock their full potential. By putting pen to paper, the Foundation believes that LGBTQ+ people can begin to reclaim and write their own stories. This is Pen to Paper’s second semester with the Do Good Accelerator, and we are excited to continue supporting its growth. 

Debbie Adam, The Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP) 

The Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP) is a student-run organization that partners with physicians and community members to provide free kidney screenings and health education to underserved populations. KDSAP offers community outreach screenings in order to prevent the development of kidney disease, expose students to scientific and medical professions within the field of nephrology, and raise awareness of the effects of kidney disease. Debbie is joining us for her second cohort of the Fellows program, and will be working on helping KDSAP increase its reach.

Erick Kapp, Education Equality Initiative 

The Education Equality Initiative strives to reduce educational inequality by making educational resources available to all. The Initiative is focused on bringing high-impact tutoring to as many students as possible using a learning pod format. This entails providing tutors to groups of four students or fewer in order to supplement their experiences and reduce the achievement gap. The Education Equality Initiative is working with underserved students without access to high cost private tutoring. They largely work with elementary schoolers, as research has shown that tutoring is most impactful in younger students. We are thrilled to welcome Erick as he scales up the Education Equality Initiative’s impact this summer.

Maggie Zhu, The Language Project 

The Language Project Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to language advocacy, a comprehensive effort to raise public awareness of the benefits of learning languages. Their main initiative is called the Sandbox, a program in which participants come together to work on projects at the intersection of language and technology. The Language Project has recently launched a language ambassador program, in which students from all over the world can join their community and fight together for language advocacy-related causes. Their mission is to lead projects that will have a positive impact on language education in today's society. We welcome Maggie to the Accelerator Fellows program and are looking forward to watching The Language Project’s ambassador program develop.

Minahil Cheema, TeleShadowing 

TeleShadowing is a free clinical shadowing program open to all pre-health students from the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and high school levels. As clinical shadowing opportunities have become limited due to the ongoing pandemic, TeleShadowing aims to extend shadowing opportunities to students across the globe. TeleShadowing experiences are designed to inspire the next generation of future healthcare professionals by providing equal access to educational opportunities, which allows students to advance their career aspirations and achieve their goals so that they can better serve their communities. We are excited to welcome Minahil to the Fellows program and can’t wait to watch TeleShadowing grow.

Sanketh Andhavarapu, Vitalize 

Vitalize is building the first mobile wellness app tailored exclusively to the lived experiences of healthcare providers. Vitalize directly engages with physicians through an automatic app, which incorporates wellness strategies and therapies into physicians’ busy schedules. They are currently developing wellness modules informed by the latest in evidence-based, trauma-informed behavioral science and lifestyle medicine. Through content tailored to the unique stressors and busy schedules faced by healthcare professionals, Vitalize aims to boost the wellness and professional satisfaction of our community’s heroes. We are looking forward to seeing how Sanketh develops Vitalize this summer.

Sara Hatfield, Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB) 

PHBB aims to raise awareness regarding the health disparities present across the globe and to work towards mitigating the problem of healthcare and health education access inequality for all individuals. PHBB works in India, Peru, Sierra Leone, and locally, in Langley Park, Maryland and has developed a unique approach to global health that emphasizes sustainability. Since its inception in 2014 as an organization of 10 students, PHBB has involved over 1,000 UMD students on 13 international global health interventions, reaching over 3,000 individuals globally. As an organization, PHBB has raised over $50,000 to directly support student travel and global health interventions. Most recently, Public Health Beyond Borders secured third place in the project track at the 2021 Do Good Challenge finals. We are happy to welcome Sara to the Fellows program and can’t wait to see how she scales up PHBB.

Tesia Shi, Lean on Me 

Lean on Me (LOM) is a nonprofit that provides students with 24/7 peer emotional support via text. Since its inception at MIT, Lean on Me has spread to seven campuses, becoming a vital mental health resource and reaching a network of over 135,000 students. While the University of Maryland offers students multiple crisis calling lines and walk-in options, there is currently no accessible campus-based, warm line text option. Lean on Me is filling this gap and aims to be a resource for students through the ongoing pandemic and to prevent the escalation of more severe mental health issues. This will be Lean of Me’s second cohort as an Accelerator Fellow, and we are looking forward to working with Tesia to grow the project.

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Megan Campbell
Director of Communications
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