Local Youth Organization Speak Up Green Up is a General Motors and Ashoka #STEMforChangemaking Challenge Winner!

On June 23, Speak Up Green Up, an environmental initiative based in Mount Prospect was selected as a winner of the Our Planet, Our Purpose: STEM for Changemaking Challenge.

A collaboration between the nonprofit Ashoka and General Motors, the STEM for Changemaking Challenge is a nationwide contest for young changemakers who are using science, technology, engineering, and math to solve sustainability-related issues and our planet's biggest environmental challenges.

Earlier this year, General Motors and Ashoka put out a call to youth, ages 14-18, across the United States, asking them to submit their sustainability-related projects. After reviewing hundreds of entries, Ashoka and GM announced 25 winning teams - including Speak Up Green Up!

Local youth Mary Catherine Hanafee LaPlante started Speak Up Green Up in November of 2019, with the goal of eliminating pesticides and herbicides from High School District 214 and the Mount Prospect Park District.

Speak Up Green Up is super excited to be a challenge winner and is looking forward to deepening their impact on the local community.

Winning teams will receive $1,000 in seed funding and will participate in the Changemaker Summit on July 22-24, an immersive online experience involving skill building, keynotes, mentorship from General Motors executives, and network opportunities with other amazing teams.

On Friday, July 24, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, will be joining the Changemaker Summit as a keynote speaker to share her own changemaking journey that redefined traditional conservation and inspires us all to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share.

Check out to learn more about Speak Up Green Up and visit for information about the Our Planet, Our Purpose: STEM for Changemaking Challenge.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.