Meet the 2019 Winners!

2019 Changemaker Summit
Origen: Rachel Fauber

In 2019 Ashoka and General Motors partnered on an initiative to recognize and support extraordinary young people who have started projects to improve their schools, neighborhoods and communities through STEM. Student entrepreneurs from across the country applied for the Ashoka and General Motors STEM for Changemaking Challenge, with an opportunity to access $30,000 in funding from General Motors for creating social change with their venture ideas. Learn more about the 2019 Challenge and Changemaker Summit here


Check out projects from our 2019 finalists to get inspired for this year’s Challenge! Just remember— this year, we’re looking for STEM projects focused on sustainability. (Check out “Eligibility” for more info.)


  • BEEducated is a youth-driven campaign that raises awareness about the environmental and economic impacts of the globally declining bee population. In addition to creating an educational app developed in partnership with MIT, they are launching a toolkit to mobilize schools nationwide to take action
  • Bits N' Bytes educates and equips vulnerable populations with cybersecurity skills needed for the future. They help users to safely navigate the digital world through interactive lessons, animated videos, research-based blogs, social media awareness, and community presentations.
  • CodeBuddies is a global initiative focused on inspiring underrepresented youth to overcome the problems of daily life through the use of technology. They are accomplishing this through interactive and project-based workshops, challenges, panels, and much more.
  • Donum Visi educates youth about societal issues to empower them to create change through the use of technology and entrepreneurship, working primarily with visually impaired students. Some of their activities include running startup camps and connecting with visually impaired organizations across the country.
  • Foundation For Girls is a youth-led social venture that endeavors to change the life trajectory of at-risk and vulnerable girls. Through skills-based training in Digital Literacy, Financial Wellness, Leadership, and Health & Well-Being girls find their path to independence and take charge of their lives.
  • GEARup4Youth is a nonprofit organization built to bridge the gender gap by bringing technology education to under-resourced girls through classes and field trips. GEARup4Youth is also educating families about the importance of gender equality through presentations, family fairs, and expositions.
  • GirlsComputingLeague believes that technology should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their race or background. To accomplish this mission, GirlsComputingLeague is a nonprofit devoted to helping underrepresented groups take their place in the technology workplace
  • Got Food? is a free app that allows food-insecure people to find the nearest and most accessible food pantries, soup kitchens, and summer feeding sites. Got Food? currently serves 26 states and is used by the food insecure population and the people who care for them.
  • Hand in Hand is made up of a group of high school and college volunteers who teach computer coding to children in local homeless and domestic violence shelters. In addition to the work they do in shelters, they also use 3D printing machines to make prosthetics for children in need.
  • HER’s (Her education is Her right) mission is to improve digital literacy among underprivileged girls by creating sustainable libraries in developing countries. HER works to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and skills training into an existing network of HER libraries throughout the world.
  • The Hermes Network predicts the likelihood of wildfires and improves wildfire response times using sensors and predictive analytics. The Network emerged in response to the struggles in managing the large-scale wildfires in California in 2018 and amplifies the severely limited resources of the fire departments.
  • Homes4Monarchs is empowering communities to integrate native ecosystems back into the Midwestern prairie by building awareness of sustainable pollinator gardens and distributing free seeds of native prairie plants like milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source.
  • Human Projects is a global youth-run nonprofit empowering young people to become leaders in human rights through programs, education, and advocacy. Their innovative model walks members through the steps necessary to ideate and builds a community project using a modified engineering design process.
  • HydroAlert is an innovative, low-cost flood warning system using sensors, IoT devices, the cloud, and mobile technologies. This system has been deployed at a high-risk creek crossing in collaboration with the city of Austin and has been providing real-time warnings to the local community and Emergency Operations Center.
  • Operation Sustain is an organization that utilizes technology to create engaging lessons on the basics of environmental education for our nation's youth, expanding climate education to support the next generation into becoming the climate-literate adults of tomorrow.
  • PDGAN is an artificial-intelligence powered platform helping doctors with the early diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. Its ability to use novel deep learning techniques to diagnose symptoms quickly, affordably, and accurately empowers doctors and puts a stop to the spread of late-stage Parkinson's Disease.
  • PlantumAI is a powerful app in addressing the significant problems of crop disease and climate change. It provides farmers critical data and analytics on crop health and rapidly changing environmental data of the region, along with suitable pesticide treatments.
  • ReDawn puts power back in the hands of survivors of sexual violence by providing a confidential platform that connects them to local resources such as rape counselors and clinics, log past incidents of abuse, and contact emergency phone lines with the press of a button.
  • STEAM3D offers youth an immersive, hands-on learning experience, that creates a deep connection with the power of technology and empowers them to solve problems with 3D Printing & Design.
  • STEMFuture is bridging the gap between the increasing presence of STEM in society and the lack of high quality, relevant STEM curriculums for youth centered around innovation, safety, diversity, and impact. They do this through their online curriculum, workshops, events, outreach, chapters, resources, and partnerships.
  • STEM Matters is reshaping the face of STEM professionals by addressing poverty and lack of education for inner-city kids of Detroit. They inspire the future first-generation college students, often ethnic minorities and women, who are significantly underrepresented in the STEM area.
  • Stria is a student-run startup devoted to helping face the challenges of visual impairment by harnessing the power of design engineering.
  • Urban BEET reimagines pathways to food security in urban food deserts. It started as a school "carbon farm" to provide community workday opportunities to students and homeless youth, and today they deliver fresh produce from the school farm and a local rooftop farm to a school food pantry and a homeless shelter.
  • Water Notifier improves access to clean drinking water for drought-prone villages across India. Water supply is limited, and the delivery timings are unreliable. Through its innovative notification system, Water Notifier prevents families from missing a chance to collect water, thus saving water as well as their time.
  • WPC is building eco-friendly, universally affordable electric vehicles for low-income households and single-parent families as a pathway out of poverty. Using solar energy for their cars, this will also result in a reduced carbon footprint and improve air quality as a result of lower fuel emissions.