Lowery Institute Change Agent Tank Winner, Madisyn Dudley, Receives Seed Money to Engage Black Youth in STEM

Participants pause for a photo after the Lowery Institute’s Change Agent Tank Social Innovation Competition. Change Agent Tank participants pictured (L – R): MarQuaan West, Madisyn Dudley, Jessie Scott, Eddie Hawkins, and John Washington

In a time when the leadership of black women is being celebrated, Cheryl Lowery, president and CEO of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute (Lowery Institute), announced that Madisyn Dudley, a dual-degree engineering and computer science major, received funding to engage black youth in STEM as winner of the recent Change Agent Tank social innovation competition. The money awarded will allow the Clark Atlanta University honors student to start her year-round initiative during the upcoming Rising Change Agent Summer Leadership Camp June 4-15, 2018.

Dudley, who is a member of the Isabella T. Jenkins Honors Program and a research assistant studying the transfer of kinetic energy into electrical energy, plans to teach the 4th thru 8th graders attending the leadership camp about renewable energy. She will target middle and high school students during the regular school year.

“Madisyn is a rising leader in STEM,” said Cheryl Lowery, president and CEO of the Lowery Institute. “We’re excited about her project. It aligns perfectly with our Environmental Justice initiative and creates an on-going opportunity for us to engage young people on another platform to become leaders in their schools and community. Cultivating her type of innovative thinking is the goal of our Change Agent program.”

Other Change Agents awarded funds for projects are Eddie Hawkins, who will offer accredited certificates for social justice focused curriculums, and John Washington, who will produce a monthly podcast relating historical civil rights events to current events in social justice.

Modeled after the popular TV show, Shark Tank, Change Agent Tank encourages Lowery Institute student change agents with a social entrepreneurial mindset to combine their social justice interests with critical business skills to create transformational initiatives and movements. Once the submissions are narrowed to five students from Atlanta-area colleges, each participant receives advance coaching from experts to help them assemble their presentation. They pitch their projects to leaders in the business and social justice community who provide valuable feedback and select the winners.

Notable local business leaders serving as judges were: Gail Nutt, GNutt Consulting; Scott Satterwhite, William-Josef Foundation; Aaron Turpeau, 3 T Unlimited; and Harriette Watkins, The Watkins Group. Blake Osborne, operations manager, Lowery Institute and Mike Watson, a 2016 Change Agent Tank Winner and student at Morehouse College, served as MCs for the evening.

Media and community relations manager for Publix Super Markets’ Atlanta Division, Brenda Reid was back again this year to present an additional donation of $7,500 from Publix Super Markets to support Mimi’s Pantry, which was established by the 2016 Change Agent Tank winner in response to the growing number of students who often go without food. The pantry currently serves over 100 students weekly.

The two-week Servant Leadership Camp gives 4th thru 8th graders the opportunity to receive leadership training in social justice, human rights, government and voter responsibility. Campers create social justice projects, go on field trips and are exposed to collegiate life on a prominent HBCU campus. Camp runs 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday and cost $250 per week and includes a t-shirt, meals and field trip. For more information, visit www.loweryinstitute.org/summercamp, call 404-524-8406 or email [email protected].

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