Stockton University Wins Nationwide Up to Us Campus Competition with Campaign to Engage Millennials on Nation's Fiscal and Economic Future

Mar 5, 2015
Contact: Christina Saull, (202) 518-6480 christina.saull@widmeyer.com
Stockton University Team to be Recognized by President Bill Clinton at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting and Receive $10,000 Prize
Judges for 3rd Annual Competition include: Congressman Joaquín Castro, Chelsea Clinton, Mayor Mick Cornett, Ben Rattray, and George Stephanopoulos

WASHINGTON — The Stockton University team took first prize in the third annual Up to Us nationwide campus competition for its innovative campaign to educate and engage millennials on how to address our long-term national debt. Up to Us, an annual competition sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact, provides an opportunity for students to raise awareness about America’s long-term fiscal and economic health. In addition to the four-week competition, students across the country added their "two cents" by participating in My Two Cents Day, the first-ever national day of mobilization around fiscal issues.

In just three years, the Up to Us program has expanded from 10 teams to now include 49 teams in more than 25 states. In the 2015 campaigns, the teams engaged more than 18,000 students through in-person outreach, events, and activities on campus. They partnered with more than 230 other campus groups to support their campaigns. Up to Us gathered more than 11,000 signatures to a pledge affirming that the millennial generation has an important role to play in securing a strong fiscal future for the country.

The students from Stockton University will be recognized by President Bill Clinton at this year’s CGI U meeting, held on March 6-8 at the University of Miami. The team will also be awarded a $10,000 cash prize.

This year’s Up to Us teams were evaluated by a panel of judges, including Congressman Joaquín Castro; Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation; the Honorable Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City; Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of the online social change website Change.org; and George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC’s “This Week” and “Good Morning America."

"The Up to Us competition and the teams who participate prove that young people are passionate about ensuring our nation’s long-term prosperity," said President Bill Clinton. “We all have a responsibility to deal with our common challenges and as the winning team from Stockton University has demonstrated, students can play an important role in ensuring that one of our nation’s most urgent issues is addressed."

The 2015 Up to Us teams developed a wide variety of creative activities across the country to engage and educate their peers on fiscal issues, including hosting substantive discussions with local elected officials, economists and entrepreneurs (Spelman College, Duquesne University and Northwestern University), as well as social events such as debt bingo (Bellarmine University) and a Mardi Gras second line parade (Loyola University New Orleans).

On My Two Cents Day (February 12), teams and their peers on campus tweeted the hashtags #MyTwoCentsDay and #UpToUs more than 1,300 times and shared more than 1,000 photos in which they gave their “two cents” on the need to address our long-term fiscal challenges. After the day, teams delivered the input of their fellow students to their elected representatives to make their voices heard on these critical issues.

"This year, a record number of students voiced their concerns about America’s – and their – fiscal future as part of the Up to Us campaign – the highest engagement level we’ve ever had in the competition,” said Peter G. Peterson, founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “The millennial generation has the most at stake in building our nation’s economic future and these inspiring and energetic students proved young Americans can combine their voices to make a difference."

The Stockton University team members include Angelo Bechara (team leader), Maryam Sarhan, Brad Ross, Louis Chevere and Victoria Muraoka. The team’s innovative campaign included a life-sized Monopoly game, a “dorm storm” in which team members brought fiscal awareness to students directly in their on-campus residences, appearances on local radio shows, and a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with a Congressman representing their state.

"All the teams involved in this year’s competition demonstrated true leadership and executed well-run, thought-provoking campaigns,” said Liz Maw, chief executive officer of Net Impact, a nonprofit that inspires a new generation of leaders to work for a sustainable future. “Every year, the Up to Us competition grows to reach more young people and the student teams are finding innovative new ways to engage their peers in their campaigns."

Student teams from the following universities participated in the 2015 Up to Us competition:

Arizona State University Babson College
Bellarmine University Clark University
California State University, Long Beach Dartmouth College
De Anza College Duquesne University
Emory University Farmingdale State College
Georgetown University Loyola University New Orleans
Morehouse College Northeastern University
Northwestern University Ohio Northern University
Pace University Pennsylvania State University
Regent University San Francisco State University
Simmons College Spelman College
Stockton University Texas State University
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith University of California, Berkeley
University of Louisville University of Maryland
University of Miami University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas-Pan American Wartburg College
West Virginia Wesleyan College Wichita State University
Yale University  

Additional schools participating in My Two Cents Day:

Baylor University Boston University
Clark Atlanta University Indiana University at Bloomington
McLennan Community College Mesa Community College
Middlesex County College Rice University
Swarthmore College Tyler Junior College
University of Michigan University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park
Walters State Community College Washington & Lee University

More information about the competition can be found at www.itsuptous.org.

About Up to Us
Up to Us, a nationwide campus competition sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact, provides an opportunity for students to raise awareness and engagement on America’s long-term fiscal and economic health. This year, 35 student teams selected from across the country competed to design and run thought-provoking, fun, and impactful campaigns on the effects of rising debt on economic opportunity and America’s future. Fourteen additional student teams participated in My Two Cents Day, the first-ever national day of mobilization around fiscal issues.

About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future, and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit www.pgpf.org.

About Clinton Global Initiative University
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,800 Commitments to Action. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, the George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Arizona State University, and have convened more than 6,500 students from over 875 schools, 145 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit cgiu.org.

About Net Impact
Net Impact is a leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to use their careers to tackle the world's toughest social and environmental problems. Net Impact empowers student and professional leaders to act locally through their vibrant chapter network and connect globally online and through their annual flagship conference. By 2020, Net Impact will have mobilized a million new leaders to drive positive change in the workplace and the world. To learn more, visit netimpact.org.

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