Up to Us Campus Competition: An opportunity for students to make an impact

January 18, 2022

Students from colleges and universities across the country are invited to apply today to join a national cohort of emerging leaders with the chance to win $10,000, and receive $650 to bring big ideas to life in one semester. Apply today!

Tackling the issues you care about most begins with gaining a deep understanding of fiscal and economic policy, but in this divisive political climate, it’s completely overwhelming to figure out how to do that responsibly. Today, we’re calling on student leaders to join the Spring Cohort for the 10th annual Up to Us Campus Competition to learn the ins and outs of our economy, and to help shape its future.

What is Up To Us?
With ten years of leadership and commitment to a prosperous, inclusive future for all, the Up To Us Campus Competition represents a cohort of emerging leaders across the country tasked with developing creative solutions for educating peers on our long-term national debt. Developed in collaboration with Clinton Global Initiative University and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the campus competition is an opportunity for you to receive funding for campaign execution, leadership and project management training, and unparalleled access to diverse thought leaders in public policy, fiscal policy, and social entrepreneurship. It’s a non-partisan, national platform for people with big ideas and a safe place to land for all your big questions

What are the perks?
Teams will receive $650 in campaign funding to turn ideas into action, with full support and guidance from the Up to Us staff to help you through the process and succeed. At the end of the semester-long program, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for exclusive paid internships, enroll in Harvard Business School online courses, receive mentorship from leaders in the field, and compete to win the $10,000 grand prize and a fully paid trip to Washington, D.C. (dependent on the pandemic of course) — not to mention add a stellar experience to your résumé.

What does a successful campaign look like?
We’re glad you asked. Baruch College was the winner of last year’s competition. The New York City-based team overcame the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to create an innovative campaign that harnessed digital platforms and virtual events to drive change, impact their community, and address the fiscal and economic priorities of their fellow students. We continue to work with teams with virtual or in-person campaign events, depending on what they are comfortable with and what their campus allows.

Through targeted events, classroom presentations, campus partnerships, and creative social media content, the team engaged 5,000 people in conversations around sustainable fiscal and economic policy. The team effectively engaged elected officials and encouraged their peers to advocate for their futures. They submitted over 1500 signed Up to Us pledges to 75 elected officials and city representatives. They even established a partnership with the New York City Comptroller to discuss the city’s budgeting and debt challenges. Two students who took part in their debate also received part-time offers from city officials to advocate for policy reform. That’s just a slice of the change you can make through your Up to Us campaign.

Tell me more…
Even during a global pandemic where everything felt uncertain and much of the experience was virtual, last year’s Up to Us competition teams made a huge difference in their communities. By harnessing social media to create innovative digital advocacy campaigns, the 2020-2021 teams reached thousands of fellow students, policymakers, and community leaders. “The Up to Us competition presented an important opportunity for our team to serve as a driving force for change,” said Nayancie Matthews, leader of Baruch College’s winning team. “Through Up to Us, we expanded our knowledge of the economy, developed new skills, and produced thoughtful conversations around our nation’s economic hurdles.”

As we grapple with ongoing fiscal and public health crises, we’re counting on your creativity and passion to ignite change and help restore a once-vibrant economy through Up to Us. We know that the power exists in all of us to combat climate change and criminal justice reform, and to improve education and healthcare for all. We’ve already seen it start to happen because of students across the country, from Up to Us teams at Mesa Community College in Arizona to the University of Virginia. There is no limit to what you can do with a team who cares and the funding, educational resources, and support you’ll receive from Up to Us. We hope our network of past winners inspires you to apply today!

Next Steps!
Submit your application on or before February 9, 2022 to be part of the spring cohort. The world needs your ideas, and we’re here to help bring them to life!

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