Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change 2014

As part of their ongoing initiative to encourage creativity and and passion in youth, Microsoft has brought back the YouthSpark Challenge for Change for a second year! If you’re not familiar with last year’s challenge, I’ll first give you a little background on Microsoft YouthSpark. Back in March of 2012, Microsoft announced a new global initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark, that aims to create education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries by 2015.

The Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change is a contest for young people who have creativity and passion and want to do some good and “spark” change in their communities or the world around them. Through March 5th, people ages 18-25 can submit their idea for a social good project designed to spark change in their communities or around the world for the chance to win amazing prizes including a travel experience to the Amazon and the latest Microsoft products. Can you imagine winning a trip to the Amazon?

My own son has recently aged out of the YouthSpark challenge, but I am hoping that I can still motivate him to go ahead and come up with his own big idea to help the community. Who knows? Maybe we can even do something to help the world! I look forward to seeing all the amazing ideas that these young people come up with for the challenge. If last year’s winners are any indication, there is sure to be a lot of great stuff happening as a result of this initiative.

Here’s a breakdown of the great prizes being offered:

20 Finalists will receive a Surface 2 (or equivalent device) with Office 365 University.

Five Grand Prize Winners will receive:

A travel experience to the Amazon to learn about creating change
$2,500 cash to help kick-start their ideas
A Microsoft technology bundle including a Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One*
The opportunity to serve as a Microsoft YouthSpark ambassador and take advantage of Microsoft YouthSpark training and resources

Don’t you love a contest where everybody wins? Every youth who enters will receive a $10 donation gift card for Microsoft YouthSpark on Global Giving to help them fund and follow social good projects for young people around the world.

Entering the contest appears to be pretty easy. Just fill out a short application with your contact details, upload a photo, and answer a few short questions about your idea.

Do you and your kids have any ideas for social good projects?

disclosure: As a Windows Champions Blogger, I receive resources, information, and tools in order to test and use Windows-based services.

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  1. They are doing this again! How cool!

  2. I love that Microsoft is doing this! It seems like they keep coming up with more and more ways to give back and that’s awesome.

  3. I love that Microsoft takes the time to do something to help others… Sometimes big companies get so into themselves that they forget about others.

  4. What a cool program. I love that Microsoft works with Youth.

  5. This is a great idea and a wonderful program! I have read predictions for the future where they tell that there will be drasticly fewer jobs and the populations will be growing exponently. Entrepreneurship will be even more important in the world of tomorrow!

  6. How nice of them to sponsor this.

  7. What an amazing offer and wonderful campaign.

  8. What a great offer. I love when they do campaigns like this. You never know who they will find.

  9. This is a wonderful idea. Kudos to Microsoft.

  10. This is such a great program!

  11. Awesome prize! Such a great campaign, too! The Surface looks amazing.

  12. This is a wonderful idea! I went Costa Rica on a mission trip over the summer a long time ago, my daughters would love to go on something like this, maybe they’d have it again!

  13. Sounds like such an amazing program!

  14. What a fantastic opportunity for those technically inclined. Some kids are so bright but don’t have the resources to grow their knowledge and skills.

  15. Love this! This generation seems to have so many kids looking to make a difference.

  16. I wish I was a youth again so I can enter this challenge. It’s such an amazing opportunity for young people. Kudos to Microsoft to connecting with out youths.

  17. What a fantastic contest! It’s so nice to see a company get involved in anything positive towards helping communities. I also love that it’s reaching out to young people to get more involved for positive change.

  18. Most of my ideas for social good stem from my nonprofit.
    I think it’s great to encourage children and young people to do good things for others.

  19. alicia k (Petite Pilates Pixie) says:

    this is great. I love also that everybody wins. Great way to get young people involved.

  20. This sounds like such a great way to inspire some really positive things! Looking forward to hearing what ideas people come up with~!

  21. What a wonderful program! I love when big companies give back. I also think it’s a great way to get the younger people involved in important causes.

  22. Contests like this have no losers. The social ideas that come forth will impact so many more than just the entrants.

  23. I love hearing about great companys like this involving todays youth and giving them such a wonderful opportunity

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