Venture by Price ’20 Wins 2019 Changemaker Challenge
Be the Change Venture (BCV), a nonprofit organization founded and led by Anthony Price ’20, has been chosen as a 2019 Changemaker Challenge Winner by T-Mobile and Ashoka.
BCV was one of 30 winners selected from 300 applicants for the Ashoka-T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge, a yearly prize that supports young changemakers across the United States and Puerto Rico.
BCV aims to train and empower young people to be workforce-ready. It works with youth aged 14 to 18 to help them develop soft and practical skills, find and obtain internship and job opportunities, and foster professional relationships with various career experts. The organization operates in the Lincoln, Neb., and Cleveland, Ohio, areas.
As challenge winners, Price and one team member have been invited to attend the T-Mobile Changemaker Lab, held in Seattle on February 19–21, with all expenses paid.
“I’m looking forward to connecting and meeting with the other leaders of the 30 winning teams,” said Price, a government and American Studies double major. “Being in this space is so inspiring and motivating to go back home to continue to do the work and realize that there are other agents of change making a difference across the country and the world.”
Price and his team also received a $2,000 prize for their project. Price said these funds will be used to support core programming offered by BCV, including educational workshops, one-on-one coaching, and community events that provide high school students with professional development resources necessary to be career-ready.
In addition, winning the Changemaker Challenge gives Price and his team access to ongoing mentorship with an Ashoka staff member, educational webinars, and other resources. Their project will also be published on the Ashoka website for the world to see.
Price notes that while they won the challenge, his team will be competing for the grand prize—which is hand-selected by T-Mobile CEO John Legere—in Seattle over the next couple months. This would give them the opportunity to work even more closely with experts from T-Mobile and Ashoka.
This is not the first recognition Price has received for his long-term commitment to civic engagement work. Earlier this year, he was invited to participate in Campus Compact’s 2019 Newman Civic Fellowship, which provides access to exclusive virtual and in-person learning opportunities during the 2019–20 academic year. Price also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Program, and this past summer, worked for New Jersey Senator Cory Booker in the US Senate. On campus, Price also served as one of the executive core-planning members for the TedXWesleyanU conference.
Asked about his advice for other young people looking to launch social good organizations, Price said, “Know the problem that you’re aiming to either solve or address. Understand the problem best by learning from and working with the people who are experiencing it.”
“Realize that change happens long-term,” he added. “Solving large problems is hard! Extremely hard. Change is possible, but it takes hard work, resilience, and patience. If you want to produce social good in the world, you must stay committed long-term to the work.”
“The most successful social entrepreneurs are obsessed with the problems they seek to tackle, not with the products and programs they seek to build,” said Makaela Kingsley ’98, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “This is one of the many reasons that Be The Change Venture is successful. Anthony cares so deeply about youth empowerment and leadership, and he relentlessly strives to create impact in this space. His passion and diligence are truly exceptional.”
After his anticipated graduation from Wesleyan this spring, Price plans to continue to work at BCV for the next two years. He is currently applying for grants and working with the community advisory team to secure funding that will support BCV’s ongoing work. He aims to work with all school districts across the states of Ohio and Nebraska to fully implement professional development training in the classroom. He is also seeking opportunities to adopt the BCV model in other states or even abroad.