May 20, 2024

Congratulations to our inspirational Changemaker Challenge winners!

That’s a wrap on Howard County’s 2024 Changemaker Challenge! We had a fantastic live event of this “Shark Tank for social good” competition, where all 12 of our finalists presented their innovative ideas for social change in our community. A grand total of $100,000 was awarded to six winners to bring their big ideas to life in front of a live and virtual audience of 500 people. 

Here are this year’s Changemaker Challenge winners: 

  • Sacral Roots received $25,000 to launch a certified peer support doula training and toolkit focused on maternal mental health for anyone affected by a maternal mental health crisis. 
  • Eudaimonia Project received $25,000 to reshape the perception of mental health in Howard County, emphasizing a community-driven approach to foster a culture where mental wellness is embraced as an essential aspect of overall well-being. 
  • Luminus Network for New Americans received $15,000 to empower up to ten young undocumented immigrant girls or non-binary people in one to two Howard County High Schools seeking to pursue studies in STEM through comprehensive immigration representation and mentorship in pursuit of their educational goals. 
  • Community Ecology Institute and Columbia Community Care received $15,000 to support the Farming for Food Security initiative. This will improve food security in Howard County by creating a collaborative team of local farms, food assistance programs and youth community members to distribute fresh and nutritious food to anyone who expresses need. 
  • Ballet After Dark received the $10,000 Women’s Giving Circle award to launch Periodt! – a peer education fellowship program for girls led by girls and youth to give resources and education surrounding menstrual and reproductive health. 
  • Brightminds received the $10,000 Audience Choice award to support Reimagining the Rainbow: Strengthening Community Through Visible and Transparent Support that celebrates, educates and includes topics of interest inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. This yearlong hybrid speaker series is run by Howard County Public School System high school students, in partnership with local community groups. 

Congratulations to all of our finalists for your incredible ideas to bring positive social change to Howard County. We can’t wait to see your ideas in action! Big thanks to County Executive Calvin Ball for his support, as well as our partners – the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, the Community Foundation of Howard County and United Way of Central Maryland. 

You can read more coverage of the 2024 Changemaker Challenge in the Baltimore Sun and view the recording of the event on YouTube.