Students Rebuild Launches Challenge to Celebrate Student and Educator Changemakers
Changemaker Challenge will donate up to $1 million to groups supporting youth and educators leading change
September 22, 2020 — Today, Students Rebuild, a Bezos Family Foundation program that mobilizes young people to take action on the world’s most critical problems, announced the launch of its latest initiative, the “Changemaker Challenge.”
The Students Rebuild Changemaker Challenge provides students and educators around the world the opportunity to shine a light on everyday heroes creating change in the midst of unprecedented challenges.
“In this unique time, students are facing a global pandemic, socially distanced learning, racial inequalities, and more,” said Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. “And yet against all odds, youth continue to create good in their communities using their voice, actions and creativity to galvanize others. Their leadership leaves us inspired and hopeful for tomorrow.”
This year’s Changemaker Challenge celebrates the young people and educators working to make their local communities better, from organizing free little pantries to banging on pots and pans each night to honor first responders to marching in the streets for change.
Students Rebuild is partnering with six organizations that are empowering and supporting students and educators all over the world to take action for the Challenge, including BUILD, Creative Reaction Lab, Peace First, and DonorsChoose.
“It’s such an honor for BUILD to be included as an official partner with Students Rebuild. BUILD helps young people use design thinking as they create new businesses that can help change the world for the better. It’s exciting to partner with Bezos Foundation in celebrating our Changemakers and amplifying their ideas. We’re also thrilled to reach thousands more students in new regions that we don’t normally serve. Together Students Rebuild and BUILD can have a lasting impact on our youth.” —Ayele Shakur, CEO, BUILD
Students and educators participating in the Changemaker Challenge will also support young people around the world with Peace First. Founder and CEO Eric Dawson remarked, “as an incubator for youth-led social change initiatives from across 140 countries, Peace First could not have dreamt of a better partner than the Bezos Family Foundation’s Students Rebuild Changemakers Challenge to amplify the voices of young people serving their communities.”
“We believe that youth are the architects for change and innovation in our communities throughout the world,” Creative Reaction Lab President and CEO Antionette Carroll said. “We are honored to partner with the Bezos Family Foundation and their Students Rebuild Challenge, as they've continued to invest in the mobilization and inspiration of creative youth across the globe, a movement that will lead to systemic change.”
Young people can participate in the Challenge by making an artistic award for changemakers right in their own backyard. For each award created and shared with Students Rebuild, the Bezos Family Foundation will make a $5 donation—up to $1,000,000—to organizations serving young changemakers working across the globe, and educators leading change in communities throughout the United States. Since its inception, Students Rebuild has raised more than $7 million in matching funds for projects. The Changemaker Challenges runs from September 22, 2020 to June 4, 2021.
The complete list of grantees and their projects are:
BUILD—To support 3,750 students to participate in BUILD’s Virtual Design Challenge which will help students explore critical world issues, gain 21st century skills and develop empathy.
Creative Reaction Lab—To support over 2,200 youth through its REFRESH program and Youth Creative Leadership Fund, which provides interventions for racial and health equity using their unique framework: Equity-Centered Community Design.
DonorsChoose—To provide resources and support to over 500 classrooms across the United States with projects empowering students to impact positive change in their classroom or community.
EdLoC—To support organizations and educators through their Boulder Fund who are empowering children and youth to address their educational needs through innovative solutions.
Global Nomads Group—To provide storytelling and peer-to-peer connection and resources in support of K-12 students.
Peace First—To support 1,500 young people globally to actively address social issues they care about in their local communities through the Peace First Challenge.
About Students Rebuild Students Rebuild is a collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation. Created in January 2010 in response to the devastating Haiti earthquake, Students Rebuild has mobilized more than one million participants in 83 countries and all 50 states and raised more than $7 million in matching funds for projects like rebuilding schools in Haiti, aiding disaster recovery efforts in Asia, supporting livelihoods in Africa, helping Syrian youth from conflict areas recover from crisis, and supporting empowerment opportunities for youth affected by poverty. Through its Challenges, Students Rebuild tackles some of the world’s most difficult problems, issues that one cannot solve alone. Guided by the belief that every young person can help others—but not everyone can fundraise—its Challenges require young people to create a simple, symbolic object, which the Foundation matches with funding. This approach allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and in countries around the world to take action and see change on global concerns. Find more at www.studentsrebuild.org and @StudentsRebuild.
Additional Partner Quotes
“We’re proud to be a part of the Students Rebuild Changemaker Challenge,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose. “By empowering students to work with and improve their communities, we can give them the tools they need to be lifelong changemakers.”
“EdLoC is honored to join the Students Rebuild partnership and be able to support our Boulder Fund recipients as they participate in the Changemaker Challenge. Our Boulder Fund grants are awarded to leaders in the education space making bold change in their own communities, and this support from the Bezos Family Foundation will allow us to further support Boulder Fund recipients leading youth serving organizations as they work to support Black and Latino communities.” —Layla Avila, CEO, Education Leaders of Color
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