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Community Impact Challenge Finalists Compete Live for Prize

Tune in at 5 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 3) to watch the finalist teams pitch their ideas as part of the fifth annual Community Impact Challenge, a grant competition where Emporia State University student teams propose creative ideas to address challenges facing the ESU or greater Emporia community.

This year two finalist teams have been selected among the applicants to present their ideas.

Brighten Up ESU, a team comprised of Jack Jaworski, Makayla Kusmaul, Derrick Maxwell and Logan Trask, seeks to address issues related to campus safety with actions that include soliciting student input and addressing dark zones on ESU’s campus.

Care Kits for Change members include Joslyn Clem, Percy Holt, Erin McNeley-Phelps and Sam Watts. This student group aims to work in partnership with SOS to use self-care kits to address the health and emotional well-being of those who have experienced domestic violence.

The finals will air on Hornet Live ( The finalists are invited to prepare video presentations for their final pitches. Judges then choose a winner to receive a $500 grant to carry out their proposed solution, which must be completed by May 2023. The virtual program includes their presentations, comments from the judges and the announcement of the winners.

This year’s judges include Blythe Eddy, senior director of ESU’s Center for Student Involvement; Mickey Edwards, executive director of the United Way of the Flint Hills; Michael Dennis, professor in the Department of Communication & Theatre; Shelby Perez, an ESU alumna and a sexual health social worker at Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health; and Eliza Rinck, graduate assistant in the Center for Student Involvement.

The CIC is sponsored by Community Hornets, the Department of Communication & Theatre and the Honors College. Learn more about the CIC at