“Ideas Challenge” Winner Uses $10,000 Grant to Empower Students to be Creative Activists in Youth Unifying Youth Project

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2015IdeasChallengeThe 2015 Ideas Challenge winners have been announced! The Ideas Challenge, a program of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, is a contemporary, social media-based program. Individuals submit ideas to pioneer community-wide support and conversation around a given issue, furthering The Community Foundation’s mission to strengthen the region by providing innovative leadership on community issues. This year’s question was, “how would you use $10,000 to improve education in your community?”

Susanna Spiccia was announced as the first place winner and recipient of a $10,000 grant for her idea, “Youth Unifying Youth,” an after-school program that teaches students the art of film, photography, design and other transferable skills to empower young adults to be creative activists in their community.

This winning project was selected through the innovative Ideas Challenge process. Susanna Spiccia submitted her idea on Facebook, then produced a video that was voted on by the general public and announced as a winner at an awards ceremony on July 29 at Georgia Public Broadcasting studios.

Re:imagine/ATL, a nonprofit organization that encourages young people to empower each other across social, economic, and geographic borders through creative technologies, is the implementing partner for the Youth Unifying Youth project. Beginning this fall, re:imagine/ATL will work with students of Douglas High School to learn the filmmaking process and then apply design innovation skills during the second semester to create solutions to critical community issues. Students will work in collaborative groups to identify challenges within their community, posit creative and workable solutions to those issues, then script and produce public service announcements to be aired within the Atlanta Public School system and television station partners. Students will also produce a documentary video short to document the process. Youth Unifying Youth is a collaboration of non-profit youth organizations spearheaded by re:imagine/ATL, VerbalEyze and the Atlanta Public School (APS) system.

Also winners in the Ideas Challenge are Vanessa Johnson for her idea, “E.S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp and After School Program” and Tami Boyd for her idea, “Incarcerated…Knowledge Is Freedom.” E.S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp is a program designed to encourage middle school girls to prepare for future success by raising their self-esteem, and by spending time exploring S.T.E.A.M. careers. “Incarcerated… Knowledge Is Freedom” will work with St. Paul’s Outreach Center to expand its tutoring and mentoring outreach program to target incarcerated girls through partnership with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. All six finalist of the Ideas Challenge will receive project support from a coach for one year.

Alicia Philipp, president of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, said, “The Community Foundation is proud to support re:imagine/ATL in implementing the winning project. The Youth Unifying Youth project is a much needed idea to empower youth to become engaged leaders in their communities and also to teach them valuable transferable skills. That’s what the Ideas Challenge is all about – sparking innovative leadership on community issues.”
To learn more about the Ideas Challenge, please click here.