September 21, 2021

Investing in innovation

Here in Howard County, we live with many social and systemic inequities in areas such as health, housing and education – but we also are home to innovative thinkers that try to address and creatively solve problems. The Horizon Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of our community, but our vision for a vibrant and thriving Howard County for all goes beyond any one specific issue.

Continuing in the spirit of philanthropic collaboration, United Way of Central Maryland, the Community Foundation of Howard County, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and the Horizon Foundation are so excited to host this year’s Changemaker Challenge, a Shark Tank-style competition that aims to spark social innovation and cultivate real change in our community. A total of $60,000 will be awarded to selected individuals, teams and nonprofit organizations to implement sustainable solutions that will help residents and communities recover from the pandemic and the inequities it exposed.

Previous Changemaker Challenge winners are leading the way to make a difference in Howard County. Hear from some of our past winners about what driving social change means to them, and how competing in the challenge helped them turn their big ideas into reality.

You can also check out this episode of “Barrier Breakers,” United Way of Central Maryland’s podcast, where we sat down with past winners Dr. Lisa Shoenbrodt and Dr. Leah Saal about their experience with the challenge in 2019. They received $10,000 for their big idea, STEER – Strategic Training for Empathic Emergency Response, to create, implement and evaluate a sustainable training program for Fire/EMS personnel in Howard County to better serve individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

We are so proud of all of Howard County’s Changemakers for their drive and commitment to making our community a better place – and we are so excited for what’s in store for social change this year! Stay tuned for an announcement of this year’s finalists who will compete at the live, virtual Changemaker Challenge event on November 9.