ATLANTA, July 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- High School students from 46 states were provided the unique opportunity to participate in the Fuel Up! Innovation Challenge, developing student-led, innovative ideas to address healthy eating challenges in their schools and communities. After working with mentors, participants pitched their solutions to a panel of elite judges in what has been described as a "mini-Shark Tank-style" competition. At stake for each student was the chance to walk away with a $1,000 grant to bring their big idea to life in their school.
The Fuel Up! Innovation Challenge event builds upon GENYOUth's AdVenture Capital model. AdVenture Capital is a social entrepreneurship program for students 13-17 that inspires, empowers and funds youth-led initiatives to drive new and innovative ways for improving the wellness environments in their schools. AdVenture Capital is offered to students nationwide, including participants in GENYOUth's flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, the leading in-school health and wellness program in the country, developed by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"We are thrilled to award students $40,000 in grants, which help them realize the potential of their big ideas to affect change in schools and communities. GENYOUth and our partners make events like this possible and we deeply believe in the power of young people to lead and create healthy futures for themselves and everyone around them," said Alexis Glick, CEO, GENYOUth.
The Fuel Up! Innovation Challenge was made possible by the generous sponsorship from Land O'Lakes and Quaker. A total of 100 students participated in the competition and worked with adult mentors from sponsor companies and partners to design solutions to healthy eating challenges in schools.
After designing their projects, students pitched their idea to a panel of judges. The judges determined 40 total winners with a total of $40,000 granted at the end of the event to help support the winning ideas and project implementation in schools. Some of the winning projects included:
The Garden Box - Project that provides small garden boxes to students for planting vegetables that can be used in school meals and help students understand where their food comes from
Plastic reduction - Project to replace plasticware with reusable metal forks, spoons and rewashing bowls to cut down on waste at school
Little Milky Way - Project to update the school's cooler equipment to store milk
The Fuel Up! Innovation Challenge is one element of this year's Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit, which brought together more than 200 student leaders and 90 educators from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to spend four days exchanging ideas, getting inspired, and receiving the ultimate leadership and communications training opportunities from subject matter experts and business leaders.
GENYOUth empowers students to create a healthier future for themselves and their peers by convening a network of private and public partners to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that bolster healthy, high-achieving students, schools and communities nationwide. We believe that all students are change-agents, who deserve the opportunity to identify and lead innovative solutions that positively impact nutrition, physical activity, and student success. For more information about GENYOUth, visit https://www.genyouthnow.org/.
About AdVenture Capital
AdVenture Capital ("AdCap") is a social entrepreneurship program of GENYOUth, which provides funding, mentoring and experiences to students ages 13 and older with ideas for improving health and wellness in their schools and communities. To learn more, visit the digital platform at https://www.adcapyouth.org/.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America's dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. The program additionally encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
About Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2016 annual sales of $13.2 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 209 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 96 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField® United. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.
The Quaker Oats Company, headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the world's largest consumer packaged goods companies. For over 140 years, Quaker has been the leading expert in oats, dedicated to researching this powerful grain to understand everything it has to offer. In addition to being versatile, oats are 100% whole grain, a good source of fiber and other nutrients and help support a heart healthy diet.