USQ Change Makers
The University of Southern Queensland’s Change Makers program aims to invest in young people who have shown leadership potential and a commitment to positively influence the world around them.
Established in 2014, the program equips year 11 and 12 students – known as Change Makers – with a sense of agency, and responsibility for a project focused on making a difference in their local communities. In 2015 the USQ Change Makers program won the CASE Circle of Excellence Silver Award for Public Relations and Community Relations Projects.
The program is designed to inspire Change Makers to become young social entrepreneurs. Over the course of a year, students have the opportunity to be empowered at a one-day forum and then begin to develop their own projects for making change. The program equips students with various skills such as project management, public speaking and teamwork. Once the Change Maker teams have developed a project, they then have an opportunity to pitch for funding from the University of Southern Queensland. In 2014 and 2015 USQ provided $30 000 in funds to assist students in completing their projects to make change. To date, Change Maker project teams have completed almost 20 projects such as a music festival aimed at raising awareness about inequality, a school community vegetable garden to help feed the homeless, and a working bee focused on cleaning up a local sports ground.
The USQ Change Makers program is an excellent opportunity to give students the skills that they need to start changing the world and another way in which the university helps to build the aspirations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Applications open at the beginning of each year and schools within reach of the Darling Downs and Springfield/Ipswich are invited to nominate their students.
For more information on the Change Makers program, please visit the USQ website.