Jackson State University Wins 5th Annual Up to Us Campus Competition to Highlight Millennial's Stake in America's Fiscal Future

May 22, 2017
Julie Walsh
(202) 518-6489
More Than 75 Colleges in 34 States Participated in the Nonpartisan Campus Competition, Urging Lawmakers to Address the National Debt

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The student team from Jackson State University has won the fifth annual Up to Us Campus Competition, which empowers students across the country to raise awareness and engagement on America’s fiscal challenges. Voicing their concerns about America’s fiscal and economic future, the winning team from Jackson State will receive a $10,000 prize, recognition at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2017 Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to travel to meet with legislators and policymakers in the nation’s capital. Representatives from each of the top 20 finalist teams will also join the winners in D.C.

“No one has more at stake in America’s fiscal outlook than the next generation – it’s their economic future that’s on the line, and the remarkable growth of the Up to Us competition shows that our country’s young people are demanding action to address our fiscal challenges,” said Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “The energy and creativity of Jackson State University’s winning team and all the students who have joined this growing movement are a shining example as we seek to create greater economic opportunity and a brighter fiscal future.”

Since its inception five years ago, the nonpartisan Up to Us initiative has grown into a groundswell of student activists who have engaged more than 100,000 people to raise awareness on the national debt through creative campaigns and activities. This year, students from more than 75 colleges and universities across the country participated in competition activities that let their peers and policymakers know that the country cannot afford to wait to address its fiscal challenges. The program will hold events on 125 campuses this spring.

The winning team from Jackson State University was led by Terrence Dillon, a junior, originally from Chicago, Ill. Leveraging the popularity of beloved television game shows, the Jackson State University team hosted events such as “Debt Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Debt,” the “Debt is Right,” and other interactive game nights to explain the current fiscal situation to nearly 1,000 of their peers throughout the course of the competition.

“I am passionate about making a positive change in my community, and as a college student, I’m always thinking about my future economic opportunities. When choosing what campus groups to get involved in, I was drawn to Up to Us because it combined my passions with a topic that I felt was important to share,” said Terrence Dillon, student leader of the winning team from Jackson State University. “By participating in this year’s competition, my peers and I realized that when it comes to building a prosperous future, it really is up to us.”

The finalists and winner of the 2016-2017 competition was determined by a panel of judges from various public policy groups including Shai Akabas, Director of Fiscal Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center; Kerry Searle Grannis, Associate Director of the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Gordon Gray, Director of Fiscal Policy at the American Action Forum; and Steven Olikara, Founding President of the nonpartisan Millennial Action Project. The 2016-2017 competition finalists included:

Arizona State University, Tempe Modesto Junior College 
Arizona State University, Thunderbird
School of Management 
Oakland Community College 
Bowie State University  Oklahoma State University 
City College of San Francisco   Pennsylvania State University,
University Park 
City University of Seattle  Prairie State College 
Earlham College  University of Arkansas, Fort Smith 
Florida State University  University of Illinois, Chicago 
Governors State University  University of the Pacific 
Jackson State University Waubonsee Community College
McLennan Community College Willamette University 

Launched in 2012 in partnership with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Net Impact and Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), Up to Us empowers the millennial generation to build a prosperous future by equipping them with training and resources to help them become young leaders that drive change in their communities.

To learn more about the 2016-2017 teams or about how to get involved in the movement, visit www.itsuptous.org. If you are interested in bringing the Up to Us movement to your community, consider hosting an event on your campus or take action today by signing the pledge.

About Up to Us
Up to Us is a movement of a generation, for a generation that lets policymakers know that as those with the most at stake, millennials are committed to addressing America’s fiscal challenges. Over the last five years Up to Us has created a groundswell of student activities who’ve engaged and empowered than 100,000 people towards a more prosperous fiscal future. Created in partnership with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Net Impact, and Clinton Global Initiative University, Up to Us provides the opportunity for students to build a movement to raise awareness and engagement on America’s long-term fiscal challenge, and hosts an annual competition that takes place on college campuses nationwide.

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