Teens Convene in Chicago to Compete for $10,000 Prize

Teens present ideas for tackling problems such as bullying, hunger and poverty

CHICAGO/PRNewswire/ — Ten youth teams from around the country with creative approaches to addressing societal issues like bullying, homelessness and community violence will compete for $10,000 to put their ideas into action. Among the 10 teams competing are the Phipps Neighborhood Sonia Sotomayor Bulldogs (South Bronx) and Brooklyn-based Women of Color in Solidarity. The friendly competition is part of The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Rally℠, which takes place at theWit Hotel in downtown Chicago June 19-21.


Members of the Phipps Neighborhood Sonia Sotomayor Bulldogs are focused on community violence in the South Bronx. Their approach has centered on opening a dialogue among Bronx residents and the police through their Community Watch Project. The Bulldogs’ efforts have resulted in monthly meetings where community members discuss their safety concerns. The organization also has set up a hotline and website for community members to share information. Today, The Community Watch Project receives four to eight tips a day, and members of the Bulldogs feel their community is safer due to their efforts.



During the inaugural three-day rally, the 10 finalist teams will be paired with mentors who are experts on the societal issues the teams have selected to tackle. Finalists will participate in working sessions with their mentors who will help them prepare for presentations to be delivered on June 21 before a judges’ panel. At the end of the Good Starts Young Rally, nine groups will receive $2,000 to support their ideas back home, while one group will be awarded the grand prize of $10,000, made possible by The Allstate Foundation.

The Good Starts Young Rally is part of The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young initiative to empower youth with the confidence, skills and resources they need to step up as leaders and achieve academic success, improve their college and workplace readiness and make meaningful contributions to society. In 2016, more than 1.7 million youth participated in Good Starts Young programs.


The 10 finalist teams were chosen by a panel of judges from The Allstate Foundation and Peace First. They were selected from a larger pool of 230 applicants who participated in the Peace First Challenge this spring. Mini-grants of up to $250 were made possible by The Allstate Foundation to help groups put their ideas into action. Participating teams also received access to online resources and adult mentors to help them identify social justice issues they’re passionate about.

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