HomeEducationAcaraAnnouncing the 2019 Acara Challenge winners

Announcing the 2019 Acara Challenge winners

Ten years of big ideas to change the world. Ten years of helping transform those big ideas into reality. Ten years of watching those big ideas make an impact.

At the 10th annual Acara Challenge reception on March 7, we celebrated 14 student teams with fresh ideas for how to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Or, as Acara Co-Director Fred Rose urged in his opening remarks, maybe we should all think of those challenges as opportunities: “opportunities to live a better life, opportunities to leave the world a better place than we found it, opportunities to help people and planet prosper together.”

Winners received grants of up to $5,500 to pilot their proposed projects and will be continually coached as they launch their ventures, from a community-driven water storage system to an intergenerational childcare platform. And as Acara Co-Director Megan Voorhees reminded last night’s standing-room-only crowd, even the teams who don’t walk away with trophies often move their projects forward, and the Acara community has the capacity to mentor even those ventures that aren’t officially recognized as winners. Rose said it best: “The world is in the good hands of people you will see tonight.”

Introducing the 2019 Acara Challenge winners:

Gold ($5000)

Undergraduate division: MoyoMate

Amy Yi, BS Biology & BA Global Studies 2019 (CBS | CLA)
Tessa Day, BS Genetics, Cell Biology & Development 2019 (CBS)
Diane Kazlauski, BS Biochemistry 2020 (CBS)

MoyoMate aims to raise hypertension awareness in Kampala, Uganda, by providing blood pressure monitoring at commonly frequented locations using kiosks and telehealth referrals.

Graduate division: Tree of Hope Haiti

Michele Girard, Master of Development Practice 2020 (Humphrey)

Tree of Hope Haiti built a water storage system in 2015 that serves 250-400 people and pumps 2,000 gallons per day. We are now partnering with the community to implement an income generating project to fund the water system into the future. *Graduate division Audience Favorite winner

Silver ($3000)

Undergraduate division: Care Share

Emily Waller, BSB Entrepreneurial Management 2019 (Carlson)
Jared Johnson, BS Architecture 2019 (CDES)
Sarah Zhao, BS Economics 2019 (CLA)
Emma Fiala, Community Partner

Care Share is an intergenerational child-care platform connecting families to elders by matching needs and abilities. Its unique payment plan allows for affordability and flexibility.

Graduate division: The Green Neighbor Challenge

Andrew Butts, MS Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy 2019 (Humphrey)

The Green Neighbor Challenge is a social media campaign and web-based lookup tool designed to facilitate the mass adoption of clean energy.

Bronze ($2000)

Undergraduate division (tie):

Bright Side UMN

Clara Holder, BS Nutrition 2020 (CFANS)
Carley Meyers, BS Health Services Management 2019 (Continuing & Professional Studies)

BrightSide UMN is an economically viable solution to food insecurity in the Twin Cities. We do produce distribution better than food shelves or CSAs. *Undergraduate division Audience Favorite winner


Haggai Simon, BS Digital Business for Artist Advocacy 2020 (Continuing & Professional Studies)

Symba is a social platform that facilitates networking, collaboration, and growth to improve the quality of life for artists and creatives across the United States.

Graduate division: foodiker

Maggie Rogers, MS Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, 2019 (Humphrey)

foodiker is an online platform for people to access environmental and health data about recipes in order to make informed decisions about what they eat.

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