Jordyn Schara of North Freedom was announced Friday by The Case Foundation as one of 20 winners of Finding Fearless — a nationwide campaign to recognize, reward and inspire fearless changemakers, and a pillar of the Case Foundation’s Be Fearless initiative.
Schara, a senior at Reedsburg Area High School, started the program WI P2D2 (Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal) that has collected more than 900,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs, curtailing over-the-counter drug abuse.
Together with Presenting Partners Microsoft and REI, and Supporting Partner the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Case Foundation will award more than $670,000 in grants, software and technology prizes and outdoor adventure packages in support of the winners’ projects.
In addition to winning grants and prizes, the 20 will compete for nearly $20,000 in bonus awards to advance their work, which will be decided in a “Fan Favorite” public vote under way until 1:59 p.m. Nov. 28 at findingfearless.org. Individuals are limited to one vote each.
The Fearless Academy, a cross-sector group of nearly 100 social innovators from across the nation, reviewed the almost 1,200 submissions from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the winners. Nominations addressed a wide variety of pressing social challenges, including civic engagement, human rights, public health, food insecurity, economic development, education and more.
“We launched Finding Fearless to show America that fearless changemakers are not only in the history books or the Time 100, but can also be found in communities big and small working tirelessly, without fanfare, to break through barriers and tackle urgent needs with bold, new thinking,” Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, said in a news release. “The Finding Fearless winners represent a diverse mix of leaders, sectors and approaches, some who are rapidly scaling their concepts and others who are just about to take off — we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on all of them and champion their transformative efforts.”
The winners will receive grants ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 to help expand their work. Each eligible project also will receive a $25,000 software donation and a Tech Prize Pack from Microsoft, along with a $100 REI gift card.
The winners have a shot at nearly $20,000 in bonus grants and prizes, including one additional $10,000 grant, an REI adventure trip, and daily $500 Network for Good gift cards.
The 20 represent the diversity of America — from local teens to community activists to entrepreneurs and established professionals both unsung and lauded in their communities, the foundation said.
“Being fearless is one of the key qualities we have seen in successful changemakers through Microsoft YouthSpark,” said Akhtar Badshah, senior director, Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs. “We’re inspired by these 20 individuals and their work to improve their communities.”
Established by Jean and Steve Case in 1997, the Case Foundation invests in people and ideas that can change the world. According to the news release, in its “efforts to address social challenges, we unite the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to identify, test, prove and scale ideas and models designed to create exponential impact.”
For information, visit www.casefoundation.org.