The Microsoft YouthSpark is committed to helping young people capture opportunity. Heartache and hope inspire Microsoft Challenge for Change winners to make a difference. Check below as I present to you the “List of Microsoft social good contest 2015 Winners “
- Belén Guede Vicencio
Belén Guede Vicencio is from Chile, a 17-year-old high school senior. She was so excited to learn she was one of the winners that she started jumping around and screaming.“I was really happy because it’s such a big opportunity for me, so I’m really thankful,” she says.
- Dana BerejkaDana Berejka is a 15-year-old from Mercer Island, Washington. She came up with The Diane Foundation, named for little girl, to raise awareness about malaria and distribute mosquito nets.She said her passion grew out of the heartache she felt in seventh grade when she learned that a young Rwandan girl she sponsored — by writing letters and sending her $15 each month — suddenly died of malaria just before her 6th birthday.
“It was very tragic; I never experienced a loss like that and I didn’t really know how to deal with it,” Berejka says. “So I was really inspired something to do something.”
- Sonal Jain PadamchandSonal Jain Padamchand is a 22-year-old from India. She said her own education helped her break economic barriers and find happiness in India. She believes every child should have the opportunity to learn and “new horizons to chase.”
She also added that she is currently working with seven people in other countries to design an educational program focused on gender equality. Her project, “World in a Box,” will bring her “video classrooms” to more children in remote and impoverished places.
- Saviour OkusenoguSaviour Okusenogu is a 17-year-old boy, from Lagos state of Nigeria.He hopes to expand his “Become Inspired in Science and Engineering Technology” program throughout his country and other African nations. He says he’s delighted to know that now “many people around the world will know about my project and what I’m trying to do in my community.”
“It’s a very great opportunity for students like me, and for people who want to change their communities with science and technology,” he says.
- Shirley Monserrath Martinez CabezasShirley Monserrath Martinez Cabezas of Ecuador came up with “Don’t Stop Talking,” an app to help people who lose their hearing continue communicating with others through speech. She plans to use Visual Studio to build it, and Kinect and Microsoft Azure to create a sort of virtual speech therapy that is affordable and accessible.The 21-year-old says she is “very, very happy” to be among the contest winners.
- Abhishek PaudelAbhishek Paudel is 21-year-old, from Nepal. was already working on how to bring better health care to people in remote areas of his country when disaster came.The massive April earthquake that killed and injured thousands in Nepal, leveling his parents’ home and their entire village, only deepened his resolve.
The 21-year-old just learned he is one of 10 grand-prize winners announced Wednesday in Microsoft YouthSpark’s Challenge for Change, a global contest that helps young people to turn the causes close to their hearts into tangible ways to do good in the world.
- Roopam SharmaRoopam Sharma is a 20-year-old guy, from India. He has created real-time tracking system to help people suffering from dementia and their caregivers. Called “Emancipator,” the technology consists of a mobile app that alerts both the patient and caregiver if the patient leaves certain boundaries, and it offers a combination of voice navigation and additional alerts to help guide the person back home safely.He hopes to expand the technology for use in many dementia-care facilities in India, said the contest brought him “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to help him make sure “the maximum number of people can benefit.”
- Nithin JillaNithin Jilla is 22-year-old from University of California. One of his professors started the AppJam+ afterschool program two years ago and have been running it with a special focus on lower-income teens ever since.“Focusing on those communities has been really rewarding because it gives them an alternate path to look forward to … It gives them hope that, ‘Wow, this is something that I’m good at. I could be a UX designer or a programmer,’” he says. “I think it’s a great way to empower and get them into it early on.”
- Marcos RostanMarcos Rostan is a 16-year-old boy from Uruguary. He says high schools should be places where teens mature and discover their creative talents — not face intolerance or other issues.So he has created “acción:ayuda,” an online platform to allow teachers, psychologists and others to exchange information about topics ranging from bullying to how to best accommodate students with disabilities.
Rostan says teachers can ask questions or solicit help for difficult situations they’re having with students at school and are put in touch with experts who can help.
“A lot of teachers have talked to me and told me they were excited about the project and wanted to help,” he says. “The reception of the product has been incredible.”
- Nefeli-Sofia StefopoulouNefeli-Sofia Stefopoulou is 18-year-old from Greece.When Nefeli-Sofia Stefopoulou and her classmates in Greece got to know a class in Kenya via Skype, they learned a pipe had burst in the African school. They wanted to help and coordinated an effort to help the students get water that wasn’t contaminated.
Stefopoulou, who now plans to raise money to provide more water filters for other schools, called being chosen as a Challenge for Change winner “a dream come true.”
“I feel blessed because I can help these people who do not even have access to clean water,” says Stefopoulou, “and now I can help more people.”
Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge Award Price are:
Microsoft awarded exciting prizes to help the winners do more and achieve more. 15 finalists from each age group (13-17 and 18-25) received a Surface Pro 3 with Office 365*.
The 5 grand prize winners from each age group have won:
• An amazing leadership-development trip to Nicaragua to learn about creating change
• $2,500 cash to help turn their ideas into a reality
• A Windows Phone*
• The opportunity to serve as a Microsoft YouthSpark Advocate and take advantage of YouthSpark training and resources
Congratulations to the winners!
The Challenge for Change has ended, but our winners’ journeys are just beginning. Please join us in congratulating the inspiring winners as well as everyone who participated.