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Empowering Youth to Build Sustainable Communities: YouthBuild Students Showcase Innovative Solutions in Local Competition


Youthbuild Students Lei, Dylan, and Katy pose with competition judges after winning the Tech 4 Sustainable Futures Challenge
teens sit at a table with papers while adults instruct

Image caption: Volunteers from Capgemini advise students as they work on their projects

Bloomington-Normal, IL – Over the past ten weeks, students from YouthBuild McLean County have dedicated their time and energy collaborating with mentors exploring how technology and innovation can reduce climate change's impact on local communities. This entrepreneurial educational experience, known as Tech 4 Sustainable Futures, is a partnership between Capgemini and Junior Achievement. With a goal of helping upskill and capture youth voices, students completed innovation and sustainability training as well as JA Be Entrepreneurial Rapid Business Planning modules before showcasing their innovative business plans focused on either biodiversity or natural disasters.


In a competitive business pitch challenge, students delivered their business plans in presentation form to a panel of judges from Capgemini, State Farm, and Junior Achievement. First place was awarded to Earth Healing Landscaping, which focused on improving local environments through a bio interactive landscape design service. Tech 4 Sustainable Futures also took place in two other cities: Hartford, CT and Chicago, IL. The winning team from Bloomington-Normal will have the unique opportunity to advance to the next level, competing against the champions from the other cities.


The students' dedication and creativity promise a brighter and more resilient future for building sustainable communities. In the words of Robin King, Supportive Services Director at YouthBuild McLean County, "The youth enjoyed the idea of not only making a change in their lives, but also in the lives of others in their community, country, or the world. After all, at YouthBuild, our motto is 'we do make the difference!'" 

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