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That's a wrap! The 2023 Sustainable Development Challenge, which took place on Feb. 23, was a great success.
Each year this program allows students to work alongside community organizations and nonprofits to devise a plan to embark on a more sustainable future.
It enables their voices to be heard and their innovative ideas, artwork and solutions to be seen by the community.
During the event, the top six teams were selected to present their plan to a live judging panel and audience. The teams were scored out of 20 using a rubric sheet.
After hearing all six pitches, the judges combined their scores and determined the team rankings.
It was a close decision, but the judges narrowed down their top teams.
Project Mini Forest from Willowstone Academy took home the win of $5,000, which will go towards implementing their plans proposed in their pitch as well as the Sustainable Development Challenge trophy.
"We still can't believe that we won! We are super excited to plant trees and help improve our community's biodiversity crisis,” said the winning team.
The second place winning team Life Garden 2023 from Immaculata High School, received $2,000 for their project, and their partner organization had secured a donor to match funds raised.
"With our donor match and our own fundraising efforts, we are actually only $500 away from reaching our $5,000 goal, which means that we will still be able to start four new farms and fund the expansion of the Ganta Hope Academy gardens," said Jessika Durose, the team lead of Life Garden 2023.
This event helps students work to address problems and provide solutions for things they are passionate about.
The mentorship and expertise advice they receive throughout the process enables them to learn, grow and develop, and we look forward to the event next year.