Local reports confirm that an Indiana student will be honored in the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge for 2019. This is the second year that T-Mobile has put on the challenge, which offers an annual prize to those youths who have made a positive impact in the country. The way the challenge works is that teams across the country develop ideas to make big changes to their communities that will better them in the long-term. The youths must be aged 13-23.
This year, the challenge saw a 32% increase in submissions from 2018. There were 30 teams picked from three categories including technology, environment, and education. Then, one winner is picked from each category. Ball State University student Matthew Peiffer was one of the 30 winners chosen.
A Voice for Kids is the name of Peiffer’s project, which advocates for children living in foster care. Providing mentors and putting more focus on listening to children in foster care are the project’s goals. Peiffer believes the system puts an unbalanced emphasis on feedback from adults with little interest in the foster children’s input. In addition, Peiffer also trains police and speaks to policymakers about abuse prevention for children living in foster care.
Matthew’s passion for children suffering from abuse comes from his personal experience living in a hostile foster environment for 13 years. Sadly, he knows the red flags firsthand.
With more than 500 officers already trained in Indiana, Peiffer appreciates that it is a good start, but seeks to take training to a national level. He wants to make sure these kids who are essentially in limbo are not left behind. It is critical that foster children are given a stronger voice and more support.
In February, Matthew Peiffer will receive seed funding and the ability to discuss his project during a three-day workshop at T-Mobile’s headquarters in Seattle. He will be joining the other 30 winning teams at The U.S.-based wireless network operator’s offices.
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