Congratulations to Julián López ’15 for his vision, hard work, and service! Julián received the Golden Ember Award from MiddCORE, a Middlebury College Leadership and Innovation program, for a micro-donation app he developed called ManKind to improve giving to Puerto Rico’s homeless population to harness the micro-donation and impulse charity trends in 21st century philanthropy. The Golden Ember Award is given for the idea that most needs to exist. Julián shared this distinction with Veronica Estudillo, who developed a platform that empowers women in Mexico through finance in collaboration with Finmex. Along with seven other finalists, his project stood out for its creativity, innovation, passion, and presentation skills. In early February, Julián pitched his project to a panel of distinguished alumni and entrepreneurs who recognized presenters for exceptional aesthetics, speaking skills, and solutions.
Julián developed the ManKind app by distributing a brief survey that efficiently collected evidence about people’s attitudes toward giving to the homeless and how to facilitate coordinated giving beyond just spare change. Julián also collected data about whether respondents preferred payment apps or QR scanners. He asked respondents whether they would be “more willing to donate money to the homeless if you could download an app to send them money through your phone, knowing they could only spend it on necessities and not drugs/alcohol?” Finally, he analyzed how to integrate this data to encourage giving.
MiddCORE is a mentor-driven, experiential-learning program. This 4-week program builds skills, creates opportunities, expands networks for tomorrow’s leaders and innovators, and reinforces specific core strengths. Through an intensive daily schedule of small-group classes and mentor-led workshops, students develop skills in teamwork, innovation, trial-and-error exploration, networking, and practical problem solving. The program is highly collaborative and hands-on, and students work closely with each other and more than 40 mentors from top leading fields and professions.
During MiddCORE, students participate in several STRATEGIC PARTNER CHALLENGES, working with peers to solve actual business problems posed by mentors. They also work on their own INNOVATION CHALLENGE to develop a new product/service or a new way to address a social problem. Learn more about the latest MiddCORE Final Pitch here.
Robinson School congratulates Julián López and all the winners!