January 22, 2013
Millenials from Campuses Around the Globe Tackle the World's Toughest Issues One Step at a Time
January 22 Marks the Rollout of the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge, a Student Competition that Inspires Action for the Greater Good
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge will launch on college campuses around the world, inspiring students to take small actions that add up to big social and environmental impact. Launched by Net Impact, a nonprofit that empowers a new generation of leaders to work for a sustainable future, this intercollegiate competition aims to reach 50 campuses and 300,000 students by May of 2013. Sponsors, including title sponsor Alcoa Foundation and gold sponsor, Microsoft, have helped make the Challenge possible.
During the 14-week Challenge, thousands of students compete against their peers and other college campuses to take the most small actions and win recognition and prizes. Rewards for top student participants and the leading school range from merchandise and gift cards to the opportunity to shadow executives at Fortune 500 companies. Through the Challenge website and Facebook app, students will track their actions and the impact they are making.
“We know that creating a more sustainable world all at once is challenging, therefore we’re asking students to start by taking small steps towards making positive social and environmental changes,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact. “By participating in the Challenge, they can begin solving some of the world’s toughest problems. We hope that these young people will begin a lifelong journey to improve the world.”
“Net Impact students have the motivation, ideas and energy to create positive, meaningful change while mobilizing others to join their quest for a greener world,” said Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis. “Alcoa Foundation is proud to support the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge as part of our own mission to inspire all generations to reduce, recycle and replenish.”
In a soft launch of the Challenge during the fall semester, 1,350 undergraduate students on 30 diverse campuses completed more than 4,200 actions. In 10 short weeks, they walked, took public transit or rode bikes to school to reduce CO² emissions by 1,656 pounds, air dried laundry to save 604,000 watts of electricity and volunteered in their local communities.
The Challenge has already inspired student that they can affect change during college and in their careers. “Small Steps is a great first step for college students to learn about impact careers and how one person’s actions can make a difference,” said Madison Stumbo, a student leader at Wartburg College in Iowa and winner of multiple awards during the fall semester Challenge.
“Our commitment to social responsibility and making a positive impact on people and communities worldwide has been a part of our DNA from the beginning,” said Dan Bross, senior director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft. “We are proud to support Net Impact in fostering a new generation dedicated to driving positive social and environmental impact.”
About Net Impact
Net Impact is the leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to work within and beyond business to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. We support student and professional leaders to act locally through our vibrant chapter network and connect globally online and through our flagship conference to create a more just and sustainable future. By doing so, we show the world that it’s possible to make a positive net impact that will transform our lives, our organizations, and the world. Learn more at http://www.netimpact.org.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, reaching 36,000 children, serving 13,000 meals, recycling 265,000 aluminum cans, and supporting 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
Sponsors of the Challenge include title sponsor Alcoa Foundation, gold sponsor Microsoft, Small Steps Sponsors 3M, Avon, Johnson & Johnson and Target and prize sponsors REI, PepsiCo, and Timberland.