My Voice, Our City: What will you do?

My Voice, Our City: What will you do?

Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers to launch an online competition that gives you a stage to share solutions that will create positive activity in your community and strengthen all of New York City.

The My Voice, Our City: What will you do? competition seeks to empower young black and Latino men, ages 16-24, to lead the conversation and develop new program ideas that will continue to brighten the future of New York City, and inspire the rest of the nation. My Voice, Our City invites you - young men, local organizations, and community leaders within New York City’s five boroughs - to enter ideas for initiatives that you think will strengthen your community for the better. Everything from fresh ideas to expanding established projects are eligible for up to $36,000 in prizes.

The My Voice, Our City competition encouraged black and Latino young men, ages 16-24, local organizations, and community leaders to submit program ideas that will brighten the future of New York City. We have announced the competition winners. Learn more about them below!

Winners

Grand Prize Winner

The competition’s Grand Prize winner and recipient of $20,000 is:

STEM FOR ALL, submitted by Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering, Inc. (ELiTE), this program offers students the opportunity to develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math by increasing their access to a community of peers and mentors and academic resources, including e-learning platforms and open-sourced curricula. Led by trained engineers from top universities, STEM for all is creating a pipeline of diverse, motivated, and socially responsible professionals who have the skills to design solutions to community challenges in the U.S. and abroad.

Runner-up Prize Winners

Runner-up prize winners and recipients of $5,000 each are:

Building Leaders and Scholars through Soccer, submitted by South Bronx United (SBU), an organization that leverages the power of soccer to help young people, particularly young men from immigrant families, to become leaders and scholars. SBU engages young people through their passion for the sport and then provides educational, mentoring, and support services to help them achieve greater success on and off the pitch.

College Pathways from Rikers Island, submitted by the College Initiative, this program provides young men at New York City's main jail complex, many of whom never considered college an option, the chance to imagine themselves—and succeed—as college students with unprecedented access to community-based support to transition successfully to academic life.

ScriptED – Teaching Kids from Low Income Communities to Code, an organization that empowers students from low-income communities by bringing computer programming courses directly to their schools, and helping them secure summer internship opportunities with software developers.

Competition timeline
About the Competition

UPDATE: The Finalists for the Runner-up prizes have been announced! Vote below for your favorite three and they could each win a $5,000 prize.

Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers to launch an online competition that gives you a stage to share solutions that will create positive activity in your community and strengthen all of New York City.

The My Voice, Our City: What will you do? competition seeks to empower young black and Latino men, ages 16-24, to lead the conversation and develop new program ideas that will continue to brighten the future of New York City, and inspire the rest of the nation. My Voice, Our City encourages you - young men, local organizations, and community leaders within New York City’s five boroughs - to enter ideas for initiatives that you think will strengthen your community for the better. Everything from fresh ideas to expanding established projects are eligible for up to $36,000 in prizes.

This competition is open to solutions that address one or more of the following topics:

  • Business Development: What is your idea for a business that would address an unmet need or area of potential in your community? What’s unique about this business model and how would it benefit your community?
  • Employment Opportunities: What do you think are some successful ways to increase youth and young adult access to employment opportunities? What are your ideas to develop/redevelop or expand an existing program(s)?
  • College Pathways: What do you see as significant opportunities to connect more young adults to post-secondary education? What are your ideas to redevelop those efforts?

The public conversation about young black and Latino men in New York City often compares their success to their peers, measured by education, employment, criminal justice involvement, and health. In August of 2011, Mayor Bloomberg kicked off the Young Men’s Initiative as a citywide commitment to address the educational, professional, and personal barriers that impede young black and Latino men.

But addressing the disparities was only half of the Mayor’s call to action. Creativity, achievement, and influence already exist within the black and Latino community of future leaders. The Mayor has charged young black and Latino men to lead in sharing ideas for meaningful programs and policies that will ignite or expand positive outcomes.

New York City needs you, now more than ever. You have the power to help make meaningful and long lasting changes in your community and city. We need your voice and vision to help young men and New York City both reach their highest potential.

This is your chance to take action. It is your voice that counts. It is our city that matters. Your Voice. Our City.

For more information about the Young Men's Initiative please visit www.nyc.gov/youngmen

Guidelines and Criteria

Guidelines

Eligibility
  • The competition is open to all organizations and individuals that have a presence in New York City and have a clear plan to implement their entry in one or more of New York City’s five boroughs .
  • Solutions should reflect the theme of the challenge — My Voice, Our City: What will you do? —and engage in activities that strengthen New York City for young black and Latino men.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • Entries must include a solution that addresses one or more of the following topics:
    • Business Development: What is your idea for a business that would address an unmet need or area of potential in your community? What’s unique about this business model and how would it benefit your community?
    • Employment Opportunities: What do you think are some successful ways to increase youth and young adult access to employment opportunities? What are your ideas to develop/redevelop or expand an existing program(s)?
    • College Pathways: What do you see as significant opportunities to connect more young adults to post-secondary education? What are your ideas to redevelop those efforts?

Only entries that fit the eligibility requirements listed above will be displayed publicly in association with the competition.

Prizes $36,000 in total unrestricted funding to use towards the implementation or growth of the projects proposed in top entries. Including:
  • Runner-Up Prizes: One of three cash prizes of $5,000
  • Grand Prize: One cash prize of $20,000
  • Early Entry Prize: One of two cash prizes of up to $500 (To be eligible, you must submit your entry prior to the 5 p.m. EDT June 19, 2013 early entry prize deadline.)
Why You Should Enter
  • A chance to win!
  • Join the movement to strengthen NYC’s communities for the better.
  • Shape the future of your city by putting forth your voice and ideas. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your potential, as well as help the young men in your community reach their highest potential.
  • Connect with Ashoka Changemakers’ global online community of innovators and problem-solvers. Your participation in the competition gives you the opportunity to forge relationships with like-minded innovators, impact partners, sector experts, and investors online.
  • Gain visibility amongst others working in the New York City community and the firms and institutions that are partnering in this effort.
How to Enter
  • For advice about how to create a better entry and boost your chances of winning, read these tips about how to make your entry stand out.
  • Please complete the entry form (accessible from the competition homepage) and publish it by the deadline: 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 . Only those entries that are published by 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 19th will be eligible for the Early Entry Prize as well.

If you experience any difficulties in entering the competition please contact lmarino@changemakers.com for support.

Criteria

Winners of the My Voice, Our City: What will you do? competition will be entries that best meet the following criteria and address one or more of the following topics: Business Development, Employment Opportunities, and College Pathways (for more information about the three topics please reference the “Eligibility” section above):

Innovation

The best entries will be those that identify key issues and ideas that contribute to improving the quality of life of young black and Latino men, and strengthen all of New York City. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new policies, products or programs models, as well as new processes or hybrid combinations of existing tools/services. Entries should describe how a solution is driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.

Social Impact

It is important that the idea or program results in measurable social impact in NYC communities. Some entries will have proven success at a small level, while others may have engaged thousands of people in communities across the city. Some solutions will achieve their impact quickly, while some will slowly seed social change for the long term. For ideas that are entered, they must show how they intend to create and track social impact.

Sustainability

For an idea or program to be truly effective, it must have a plan to exist and grow well into the future, a plan to sustain itself. Innovations will be judged on their long-term vision for increasing impact and creating lasting change. Entries should describe how they are currently financing their work (if applicable), and how they plan to finance their work in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address ongoing needs, and to aid in scalability and maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday July 31, 2013. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they may receive from public comments or any advisors (participants can continue to modify their entry even after it’s been “published”).

There are four main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage: May 23-July 31
    • (Early Entry Stage: May 23-June 19)
  • Review and Judging: July 31-September 4
    • A panel of expert judges and a team of Ashoka Changemakers staff select the Runner-Up prize finalists and Grand prize recipient.
  • Public Voting: September 4-September 18
    • The public will vote to select the three Runner-Up prize recipients from a field of finalists.
  • Winners Announcement: September 25

Prizes

Early Entry Prizes

Early entries received by June 19, 2013 will be eligible to win one of two cash prizes of up to $500. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude entrants from winning additional competition prizes in any way. All entries will be evaluated on an equal basis at the completion of the entry period, according to the Changemakers criteria.

Runner-Up Prizes

The top entries in the competition will be selected as Finalists by an internal group of Ashoka Changemakers staff and a panel of expert judges. Then the public will vote for their top three Finalists during a two week voting period from September 4-18. The top three vote-getters will each win a Runner-up prize of $5,000.

Grand Prize

A $20,000 prize will be given to strongest overall entry in the competition as determined by an internal group of Ashoka Changemakers staff and a panel of expert judges. (Please note that this prize will NOT be determined by a public vote).

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.





Judges Panel

Council Member

The Mayor’s Youth
Leadership Council

President & CEO

The Committee for Hispanic
Children and Families, Inc.

Senior Associate,
Fellow Programs

Echoing Green

Director

Young Men’s Initiative

Partners