NDSU senior Nadia Mitchell is a finalist in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge 2020, with a top prize of $50,000 in funding and resources.
She is partnering with Concordia College student Sean Feeney in a project called “Be Bold,” a virtual mentorship program aimed at bridging the gap between in-person and online mentoring services.
They will be among 30 other student teams from 17 countries to compete in this year’s final. Due to the pandemic, all pitches will take place online. Their pitch is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, at 5 p.m. PDT.
The students’ research found that approximately 16 million youth across America have never had an adult mentor while growing up. In the challenge, competitors must demonstrate a strong understanding of their problem of interest and its causes, the current solution pool, and identify gaps in current services.
“Early prevention and detection are the best methods to help youth navigate unstable living situations,” said Mitchell, who will graduate in June with a major in business administration and minor in entrepreneurship. “Without interference in this cycle, child homelessness will continue to lead to adult homelessness which will lead to an increase in the use of government services, which poses the greatest threat to not only the community by national economic growth.”
“They really want to help students who want to be involved with the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in Fargo,” said Mitchell, a native of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. “There are tons of resources out there and tons of people you can connect with that can help you in your journey. They are the ones who point students in the direction of those resources and connections.”
Her goal is to establish a non-profit organization that targets youth who age out, or are about to age out, of the foster care system. Her fear is those youth could end up being homeless, resulting in chronic homelessness.
To view the final presentations for the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge 2020, register here.