On May 9, 2019, undergraduate students from three sections of “Do Good Now” courses competed in the Do Good Now Course Competition for the chance to win up to $1,000 and coaching from the Do Good Institute to continue to advance their projects.
Students from across campus in each Do Good Now course were tasked with creating semester-long projects that do good for causes and issues they care about. Teams tackled issues ranging from access to hygiene products, mentorship opportunities for students in Wards 7 and 8, and increasing inclusivity of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Do Good Now course is offered to students through the School of Public Policy (taught by Dr. Toby Egan), the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (taught by Professor Tricia Homer), and iGive (taught by Professor Patricia Bory).
Modeled after the annual, campus-wide Do Good Challenge, six teams – three finalists and three lightning pitchers – at the Do Good Now Course Competition presented their projects and the impact they created to their peers and a panel of judges that included Dr. Johnny Graham, Chairman and Co-Founder, DREAM Foundation; Anderson Sloan, 2014 Do Good Challenge winner and Commercial Named Account Manager, Tableau Software; and Lynne Cheng, Head of Operations, OmniVis.
Bob Grimm, director of the Do Good Institute, kicked off the event by encouraging students to continue with their projects after the semester, and not wait until after graduation to make an impact for the issues they care about. He emphasized, “you can make a great social impact now.”
The finalists were:
- Cares Closet, which provides hygiene products discreetly in schools to students who live in hygiene poverty.
- DC Youth Connections Network is focused on bringing networking and mentorship opportunities to underserved youth in DC's Wards 7 and 8.
- Rethink UMD aims to spread awareness and increase inclusivity of individuals with intellectual disabilities on UMD’s campus amongst students and faculty.
During the competition, three semi-finalist teams were also given the chance to give two-minute lightning pitches for a chance to receive coaching from the Do Good Accelerator. The semi-finalist teams were: What’s the Buzz?, which aims to provide comprehensive sex education as part of the University of Maryland's first year curriculum; Bump the Bars, which wishes to change the criminal justice system by minimizing the school to prison pipeline and assisting prisoners to become entrepreneurs; and One Can Make a Difference, which is battling food insecurity on UMD's campus by spreading awareness for the Campus Pantry as both a resource and philanthropic opportunity.
After deliberation, the judges announced Cares Closet won first place and will receive $1,000 and coaching from the Do Good Institute’s Good Accelerator. One Can Make a Difference won the lightning pitch and will receive coaching to advance their project.