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Submitted by The Evergreen State College

The Evergreen State College Changemaker Lab is gearing up to host a Changemakers Expo on March 14, 2024 inviting community members to join in celebrating the remarkable achievements and ongoing initiatives within the community. 

Evergreen’s Changemaker Lab program is ideal for those looking for a practical, hands-on approach to learning, who have the energy and commitment to take charge of their learning and discover themselves in a caring and safe innovative environment. The Expo will highlight the success stories emerging from this group of students, with a particular focus on the new organizations forming within the program. 

One standout success story is the team at the Financial Freedom Association, which has recently received scholarships from the Institute of Management Accountants to pursue their Certified Management Accountant certification. This milestone not only validates the dedication and hard work of FFA members but also underscores the pivotal role of CML in empowering individuals to achieve their professional goals.

In addition to local achievements, Evergreen’s Changemaker Lab is also making waves on the international stage with its involvement in organizing the Global Development Hackathon. Organized in collaboration with universities in Tanzania, Peru, and the Czech Republic, this hackathon aims to address economic challenges in developing regions. Participants from around the world will come together to tackle these challenges using innovative solutions and collaborative methodologies.

“We are thrilled to be part of such a transformative initiative that brings together diverse talents and perspectives to drive positive change,” said Dakota Seddon, a student member of CML. “Through events like the Global Development Hackathon, we are not only solving real-world problems but also forging meaningful connections and fostering a culture of global citizenship.”

The hackathon, scheduled to take place from May 9th to 16th, will feature a series of workshops and challenges designed to empower participants with the skills and knowledge needed to make a tangible impact. Solutions will be presented on the final day, with winners selected based on innovation, feasibility, and impact.

As preparations for the hackathon continue, CML is actively seeking sponsorships to fund prize money and travel expenses for some of the organizing participants. Additionally, efforts are underway to engage schools and universities in the hackathon.

Beyond the realm of entrepreneurship and innovation, CML is also proud to support students like Janae Velasco, an aspiring art therapist who is passionate about building a community of healing around the arts. Velasco will be competing in the Art Battle Northwest Regional Championships, showcasing her talent and passion for the arts. Art Battle is a competitive arts event where painters have 20 minutes to create a masterpiece, and the winner is voted on by the audience. This championship event will be held at the Armory in the Seattle Center on Saturday, March 9. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. 

Velasco is also part of a nonprofit within the CML named Community Kinetics. They strive to create a connected, supportive, and purpose-driven community, free of the crisis of addiction, mental illness, and houselessness, where everyone’s potential and well-being are realized. Most recently finding a struggle with veterans and previously incarcerated people reentering society, Community Kinetics is currently aiming to fix this. They provide previously incarcerated individuals and Veterans essential life skills and means to reintegrate into society through various workshops such as financial literacy, resume building, life skills, etc. and were recently invited to present their idea to the Republican caucus. 

The Changemaker Lab, part of the Tiimiakatemia movement, represents a groundbreaking shift in education. Leveraging Evergreens Interdisciplinary accreditation and adopting this pedagogy allows learners to experience exceptional learning. Originating from Finnish Business Professor Johannes Partenan’s visionary work three decades ago, this innovative pedagogy seamlessly integrates insights from leading American scholars and even allows Changemakers to attend their programs at MIT. Experience the transformative power of our dynamic learning environment firsthand.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Expo and showcasing the incredible talent, learning and innovation within our community,” added Seddon.

The Expo takes place on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at Evergreen’s Changemaker Lab:

2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Seminar II C Building
Room C4107
Olympia, WA 98505

Staff and faculty are invited from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., and students and the community are welcome from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

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