SHU enables high school students to make a difference through competition

SO-shu high school sustain-WSOUTH ORANGE, NJ — There is a way to make your voice heard if you are a high school student with a desire to effect positive change on today’s global challenges and the needs of society. Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations is challenging high school students to be part of the solution and serve the greater good by participating in a Sustainable Development Challenge. This pitch competition is designed to engage high school students in thinking about the needs of society and the planet — encouraging them to be agents of change and embrace the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Sophomore, junior and senior high school students are invited to submit their 300- to 500-word statement that describes an innovative approach or idea for addressing one of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This is an opportunity for them to share their thoughts about what they want to do to help make the world a better place, while having the opportunity to compete for $50,000 in prizes and scholarships.

Students can focus on any of the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. They can present an idea aimed at creating awareness or change related to one or more of the goals. Proposals can be for a project, campaign or charity that will assist in attaining one or more of the goals. They can be local or global, with a focus on the students’ school, surrounding community, state, the U.S. or any country or region of the world.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are part of the United Nations agenda for the next 15 years. We train students to propose innovative solutions to real world problems and this scholarship competition offers us a means to invite high school students who will be our next generation of leaders to be part of the process. It’s a chance for them to think outside of themselves and think about how they can contribute to solving real-world problems,” associate professor Martin Edwards, director of the Center for United Nations and Global Governance Studies in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, said in a press release.

Submissions should briefly explain the idea and approach to implementing the idea; identify which U.N. Sustainable Development Goal or goals this idea supports; and explain how the idea will contribute to attaining this goal or goals. Submissions must be received by Sunday, March 27, at midnight.

Ten finalists will be selected by late March and invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges at Seton Hall University on Friday, April 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., with a reception to follow. Finalists who cannot come to campus can participate via Skype.

All submitters are also welcome to attend the presentations on April 22 as well as the reception to follow.

Finalists with the best ideas will win cash prizes and a scholarship to attend Seton Hall. The cash prize can assist in launching the idea or creating awareness about the sustainable development goal or region of the world that is most important to the submitter. The first place winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a $10,000 scholarship — $2,500 annually — to attend Seton Hall University. The second place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize plus a $6,000 scholarship — $1,500 annually — to attend Seton Hall. The other finalists will each receive a $4,000 scholarship — $1,000 annually — to attend Seton Hall.

For more information and to apply, visit or contact Martin Edwards at [email protected]