UMD’s annual competition awarded more than $20,000 in prize money.
The University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and its Do Good Institute has announced the winners of its 7th Annual Do Good Challenge. Terp Thon and Symbiont Health placed first in the competition, winning $5,000 each for their Do Good ideas.
Founded by DGI and sponsored by Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, the Do Good Challenge supports the university’s culture of philanthropy, innovation and entrepreneurship, and gives student groups that are making a social impact on campus, in the community, and globally an opportunity to pitch their Do Good project or venture to an audience and panel of judges for a chance to win a share of more than $20,000.
Terp Thon, who won first place in the project category, raises funds and awareness for patients and their families at the Children’s National Health System. Throughout the year, the organization hosts various awareness campaigns, events and fundraising activities, including their annual dance marathon where students stand for 12 hours (a typical nurses’ shift) in support of current and former patients. All of the funds raised by the group provide patients and families with superior medical care and an array of support programs to enhance their hospital experience. Over the years, the group has raised more than 4 million dollars for families in need.
First place in the venture category and a previous Do Good Challenge competitor, Symbiont Health has developed an enhanced medical alert system to help accelerate the response and rescue of elderly persons who fall and lose consciousness. The device and alert system detects falls through motion sensors and gyroscopic technology. The student group is working to expand its services by implementing a mesh networking system for WiFi routers to better track patient behaviors in real-time, with vital diagnostic information.
“The UMD Do Good Campus is pioneering a new model. We take what students are passionate about and give them the skills and tools to change the world,” said Director of the School of Public Policy’s Do Good Institute Robert T. Grimm Jr. “Maryland is the destination if you want to change the world for good.”
This year, six student groups competed as finalists in the Do Good Challenge, including Terp Thon, Symbiont Health, Nourish: Mommy and Me, Scholars Promoting and Revitalizing Care (SPARC), Recyclify, and Synapto. SPARC and Synapto won second place and $2,500 for their projects, while Nourish: Mommy and Me and Recyclify won third place and $1,000 each to further their ideas.
Additional awards were presented at the event. SPARC received the Audience Choice Award, winning an extra $2,500. Two semi-finalist teams who earned the most “Do Good Dollars” during the showcase before the finals, were given the opportunity to give a lightning pitch on stage. Flush X was awarded first prize and $750 and Preventing Sexual Assault won second prize and $500 for their efforts.
To learn more about the Do Good Challenge and this year’s finalists, visit www.dogood.umd.edu.