At The No Kid Hungry Innovation Challenge presented by No Kid Hungry Missouri, over 100 students ages 13-17 from across Missouri came together to design and pitch ideas to help increase access to USDA meal programs. Check out some highlights from the day! 


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My involvement with AdVenture Capital has been extensive throughout my four years of high school. Over the years, I've gotten to know the team of incredible people working for AdCap very well. Through them I've been connected with mentors and very cool opportunities.

The first time I had even heard of AdCap was at my first Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassador Summit in North Carolina -- just from hearing the details of the program I was hooked. The ideal of empowerment that is so deeply engrained in AdCap’s mission really resonated with me.

Though I've been involved with AdCap since my freshman year of high school I won my first grant the summer before my senior year. AdCap inspired me to challenge the status quo and work to constantly to improve the world around me. It was because of this that I decided to pitch a proposal to my school's administration to replace the old, outdated water fountains with newer, filtered bottle filling stations. In hopes to encourage kids to drink more water instead of soda, I decided to apply online for a grant though AdCapYOUth.org. Though I lacked experience in writing grants, I was guided through the process and was eventually awarded with the grant.

Now we are in the implementing phase of the initiative referred to as 'Operation Hydration' and I'm working with my school to purchase the new equipment. It was through AdCap that I learned the skills needed to enable change and inspire others.

This December, I learned I was the recipient of the inaugural SAP Bill McDermott Scholarship, which was offered exclusively to students in GENYOUth programs. This scholarship means a lot to me. I see it as an acknowledgement for years of hard work and effort. A scholarship from SAP is a stepping stone to a newer chapter of my life, enabling me to reach further than I could have before. Five years with GENYOUth has shaped me into the young leader I am today. As someone who strives to empower those around me it feels rewarding to see all the dedication and hard work finally come back around.

My involvement with GENYOUth’s programs has taught me a great deal about myself. I’ve gone from a shy kid to a passionate public speaker and advocate. GENYOUth has empowered me to truly reach out and take what I need to facilitate change in myself and the world around me, but it has also showed me that what you take, you must always give back.

I have learned about my love for public speaking, my passion for advocacy and the importance of creating platforms that allow student like me to grow and change under an umbrella that supports whatever traces of passion there may be and allows it to flourish into a key quality in that individual. I started off as a student who didn’t know about the power of my voice, now I know that no student should ever feel as though they don’t have a say in the matters that impact them the most. I feel more aware of my capabilities to improve what I see is lacking in the world and most importantly I know I am equipped to handle it. I no longer feel afraid to dream bigger and better for myself and my peers.

-Saira, 12th Grade, New Jersey

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