2018 MiddChallenge Grant Recipients

Social Impact & Sustainability:

IMARA (Women empowerment through greenhouse farming for stable families) - Anne Ronoh '20

A supporting foundation and network to enable women to start greenhouse farming from which they can earn income and food for domestic consumption. This project is about establishing a training camp that will start by promoting the uptake of agribusiness and offering hands-on, one on one coaching from agricultural extension officers and experienced farmers, and starting greenhouse farming, in which members will apply hands-on the knowledge and skills they will have received. Our goal is to provide self-employment to the less educated women in the community and to make it easy for them to make ends meet especially for their school-going children. IMARA is all about education, women empowerment, and peace in the families.

Source. - Alex Brockelman '18 and Thomas Wentworth '18

A mobile application which will make grocery shopping more affordable, more convenient, and more sustainable for people everywhere.  Source begins by asking each user for their grocery preferences (dietary restrictions, nutritional content, certifications, and price), thus allowing it to provide a personalized and satisfying experience for everyone who uses it.  With that information, Source tracks the detailed inventories of retailers in each user's area, providing recommendations of what store to visit and what specific products to buy for every item on his or her shopping list.  Finally, Source allows users to order ahead using the app and have their order ready for them at a designated time and place for pick up.

Young Leaders for a Wild Florida - Oscar Psychas '21

This summer Oscar's MiddChallenge will be leading "Young Leaders for Wild Florida," a two week environmental leadership program to empower teens in his community to become the next generation of conservation leaders for Florida's endangered natural environment. The program is hosted by Alachua Conservation Trust, a nationally accredited local land trust, and students will work together on field conservation projects with the trust's staff such as monitoring biodiversity in local swamps. Students will also explore local wild places on wilderness adventures while learning about their unique ecology, and finally work alongside community leaders to learn what it takes to become an environmental leader, even getting the opportunity to propose a new environmental policy to their County Commission. We are working with community organizations to include teens from disadvantaged backgrounds. Oscar plans to continue building up and expanding this model of activating environmental leadership, and you can learn more at walkforwildflorida.org/young-leaders-for-wild-florida.html . We are grateful to the CCISE and to Middlebury for making this incredible opportunity possible.


A Liveable Sculpture - Luna Shen '20

Our vision is to build a sculpture that is both living and livable. Our work will be built at Sweet Pea’s Farm, in Bar Harbor, Maine. This sculpture will be a space that fosters communal living, challenges the perceived gap between man and nature, and encourages art as a part of daily existence. Our dwelling will be sculpted using living, growing flora and fauna, in addition to modern building techniques. We will be combining a steel armature with sandbag building, and other forms of earth building. Our sculpture will have a passive solar design, kitchen garden, birdbath, and other decorative and functional elements. Internally, it will be a comfortable gathering space with wheat-pasted textile designs. We are excited to discover new ways of using our materials and new ways of benefiting the surrounding ecosystem, and ultimately creating a lasting space open to anyone in the community.

Let’s Remember - Eunice Kim '18

Today, South Korea has the highest elderly poverty rate among developed nations. Project 기억하자 (Let's Remember) aims to empower the South Korean elderly generation to share their stories on Korean Identity through a series of digital storytelling. An art project aimed to build bridges between the young and old generation in South Korea, Project 기억하자 aims to create a community of storytellers and active listeners in a society that has deprived itself of dialogue between generations. The project hopes to revitalize the culture of respect for the elderly and to increase awareness among younger generations on Korea's growing elderly poverty.

Total Loss Farm - Mac Christopher '18

In 1968, a group of a young activists—living in a crammed, one bedroom DC apartment, made the decision to collectively move to a farmhouse in Guilford, Vermont. Upon arrival, the group realized that they did not have access to the home and spent the first week on a peach orchard that rested on the hill overlooking the property. What they did have access to was the rusted mailbox and within it was a letter from the IRS, inquiring if the farm, business, or household had been a “Total Loss Investment”. Total Loss Farm would become one of the most well-known Vermont farming and cultural communes.

This is an extended documentary film on the stories of Total Loss Farm and what those stories tell about community, environmental stewardship, memory, generations, and human connection.

Business - Products and Services:

Overeasy - Eva Shaw '20.5, Meg Collins '18.5, Lucy Jenks '18.5, Izzy Hartnett '21

Overeasy makes fashionable hoods for the outdoors designed to keep you looking great and staying warm, whether you're walking to work or walking the dog.

Loveland Foam Armanents - Kyle Loveland '20

Loveland Foam Armaments designs and produces foam dart blasters for adults.

Business - Technology:

Borrow - Claudia Lu '19

Borrow is a mobile platform that will allow friends to borrow and lend money in between each other with ease.  As of now, Americans owe an estimate of $184 billion to friends and families (in comparison, the entire US music industry generated a revenue of $17.2 billion in 2016). This app aims to make the process of borrowing as well as lending painless by forcing the borrowers to put down a promised return date (or installment options) when they try to borrow. Then, Borrow sends the borrowers reminders through emails and phone notifications periodically and especially during the last couple of days before the money is due, and if they continue to not pay back their lenders, we automatically draw money from their accounts on the original promised-return date.

ManeStyle - Peter Palumbo '20, Martin Williams '20, Henry Mound '20

Our project, ManeStyle, enables barbers to be more independent expand their clientele. Functioning like a Yelp for individual barbers, customers will be able to find a barber, check out reviews, and book all within the app, while barbers will be able to build their brand, get paid, track finances, and stay in contact with recurring clients.

PharmaTrack - Ted Grace '18 and George Lampe '18

PharmaTrack is a clinical trial data visualization service for investors in the healthcare space. We provide user-friendly organization of drug pipeline clinical and regulatory data which is constantly updated. We aim to be the go-to service for healthcare investors who require accurate, organized, and relevant data to make decisions about the performance of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

twitter icon