2021: Changemaker Challenge

Honoring everyday heroes

Changemaker Challenge Launch Video

Shining a light on those making the world brighter

Students faced a number of issues during this Challenge: a global pandemic, socially distant learning, racial injustice, the environment, and much more. That’s why we invited students to make awards for changemakers in their own backyard. Their awards also helped support changemakers around the world! Learn more below.

Why changemaker?

Cynthia Peace First grantee

Better Together

A changemaker is someone who takes creative action to solve a social problem.* Anyone can be a changemaker: Maybe a changemaker is a parent or grandparent, aunt, or uncle. They could be a neighbor or classmate that has made a difference. Their changemaker may be a teacher, community organizer, doctor, librarian, or friend that rises up to help. A changemaker could be someone you admire but haven’t met. It might even be you!

*Definition from Ashoka.org. Hands Illustration

A Different Kind of Award

A blue ribbon for being kind. A gold medal for good neighbors. A silver star for speaking up. A badge of honor for brave leadership and activism. Instead of honoring a famous musician or athlete, we invited students to make awards for changemakers in their local communities and to support other changemakers all around the world.

Stars Illustration

Sample CC Awards
BUILD students 2

Scale Change

First, students learned about changemakers. Next, students created awards using whatever materials available and shared their awards with us. For every award we received, the Bezos Family Foundation will donated $5 ($1,000,000 in total!) to programs supporting changemakers in the U.S. and around the world.
Trophy Illustration

How it Works

From understanding to action in a few simple steps.

This year, we invited students to create awards for a changemaker in their life. They followed these steps:

1. Register, set, go!

CC Step 1

Nearly 1,000 teams in 57 countries registered for the Changemaker Challenge in an unprecedented year given the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Brighten their day.

CC Step 2

Studnets made over 112,000 awards for changemakers they wanted to celebrate! In addition to submitting art for our Challenge, many shared their awards when possible and spread love and light along the way!

3. Light the way.

CC Step 3

In total, $1 million dollars was generated to support young people and educators leading change in their local communities, throughout the United States and across the world.

Interactive Map

Check out Changemaker Challenge teams and projects!

Find changemakers in your own backyard and around the globe. Students from all over the world took the Changemaker Challenge and shined light on everyday heroes. Explore the nearly 1,000 teams that joined the and click the trophy/award icons to learn how the programs students efforts helped to fund.
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Learning Materials

Free teaching resources for any K-12 setting.

The Challenge has ended, but you can still minimize prep time and maximize student engagement with our curricula, lesson plans, and other resources. Many are informed by national standards, all are flexible enough for any setting, and free of charge. Below are the essential overview materials, and there’s much more to explore on our resources page.
View more resources

Updates

Changemaker Challenge Updates

Meet our partners, read inspiring stories, and see changemaker awards created by students from around the world.

We’re thrilled to report that together, we raised $1,000,000 to support large- and small-scale community change projects around the globe through the Changemaker Challenge. To learn more about what we accomplished, check out our impact report.

Register your team to join us for two unique awards shows, depending on your age group. Each show will be 20 to 30 minutes—perfect to view within a class period!

We are extending the March double campaign so every award created and submitted through the end of April will continue to be matched with a $10 donation! Woot, woot!

This month’s award goes to the Changemaker Crusaders Team of Absecon Public Schools in Absecon, New Jersey. Team Leader Carly Broomhead coordinated their Challenge participation with their SEL week for grades K-8 and students made some incredible art (as you can see)!

Congratulations to the February team of the month, JMHS Bears from John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City, OK!

Double Your Impact for Changemaker Organizations This March! Every award created and submitted to the #ChangemakerChallenge will be matched with a $10 Bezos Family Foundation donation. Each submission also earns your team a $25 Donors Choose gift card. If teams share their submission on social media and tag Students Rebuild, their will get another $25 Donor Choose gift card!

Sign Up for the Virtual Classroom Exchange!

We’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partners in a special way this year! Each month we’ll spend a week showcasing one of our Challenge partners, highlight their work, and share how you can take action to support them through the Changemaker Challenge. For February’s Partner Week, we’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partner Creative Reaction Lab.

Congratulations to the January team of the month, Science Saves the World from Holy Family School in Kirkland, WA!

We’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partners in a special way this year! Each month we’ll spend a week showcasing one of our Challenge partners, highlight their work, and share how you can take action to support them through the Changemaker Challenge. For January’s Partner Week, we’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partner DonorsChoose.

Congratulations to our team of the month for December: Don Bosco School from Bandlaguda Hyderabad India led by Christine Fernandes! We are thrilled to see what else students will create in 2021!

The first Changemaker Challenge webcast is happening on Wednesday, December 16, at 10 am PT/1pm ET. This free, 40-minute live stream event is open to all (best suited upper elementary through high school students) and offers an engaging opportunity for remote learning. The conversation will feature youth changemakers from around the world in conversation about taking meaningful action and making a difference.

Congratulations to our team of the month Ms. Diallo’s classes for November led by Molly Diallo at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High! We will be searching for another amazing team in December, more to come!

Donors Choose is one of our SR projects that you're helping to support educators! In the last year you've helped fund $75,000 in projects.

We are excited to announce our two teams of the month, team DECO and team UNICEF as our October teams of the month! Team DECO is led by Marina Reilly at Millburn Middle School in Millburn, New Jersey and team UNICEF is led by Kacie Chong in Mountain House, California. Keep on the lookout for your team as we will be searching for another great team in the upcoming month!

We’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partners in a special way this year! Each month we’ll spend a week showcasing one of our Challenge partners, highlight their work, and share how you can take action to support them through the Changemaker Challenge. For November’s Partner Week, we’re highlighting Changemaker Challenge partner BUILD.

We are thrilled to see what else students create for this year! You can make a creative award out of materials found around the house. This one includes a prized lego figure!

In the weeks leading up to the Changemaker Challenge launch, several young people volunteered to make some pretty neat examples of changemaker awards!

This year we have 5 incredible new partners joining the Changemaker Challenge! All support youth and educators making a difference around the world. And we're pleased to welcome Global Nomads Group back to support learning and storytelling throughout the Challenge.

We are thrilled to partner with the Youth Design Center from Brooklyn, NY, to film and produce this year's Changemaker Challenge launch video!