Champions of Change Program Background: The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities. You can check out the previous champions, their blogs and video of past events at www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
The Contest: Over 1400 representatives from college and university projects across the nation sent in their applications to the White House in hopes of being selected in the top 15. On February 21, Ryan Harb received a congratulatory phone call from the White House - the UMass Amherst Permaculture submission was selected by judges – and then he and others from the UMass Permaculture team had 1 week to gather as many online votes as possible!
The Results: The UMass Amherst Permaculture Committee received 59,841 votes, the most among 15 other finalists in the challenge. As a top-five finishing team, the UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative received a trip to the White House, met President Obama, and were featured on MTV Act’s blog and mtvU’s television program, “The Dean’s List.” See Vote totals for the full results of the online voting.
Watch UMass Permaculture represented at the White House with Keynote speaker, President Barack Obama: