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Public Health Beyond Borders Wins ‘Most Collaborative’ Award in U21 RISE Showcase

By Amanda Quinn By Kaitlin Ahmad

The student-led nonprofit Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB) won the “Most Collaborative” prize in the 2021-22 Universitas 21 (U21) RISE Showcase & Awards.

The project was one of five chosen to receive a $2,000 award from a showcase of 20 projects nominated from across U21’s international network of 27 prominent research universities.

Started in 2012 as Public Health Without Borders, PHBB seeks to reduce health disparities around the world and increase awareness about good health practices, while providing students with opportunities for responsible global development work through faculty-mentored international trips. PHBB recently incorporated as a 503(c) nonprofit that is working to establish chapters at other universities.

Approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students have worked on 13 international partnerships, reaching nearly 3,000 children and community members. Current PHBB projects are in Peru, Sierra Leone, India, Philadelphia and Prince George’s County, Maryland. The funding and support gained from the U21 RISE Showcase & Awards will help PHBB scale the impact of its global reach.

U21’s RISE (Real Impact on Society & Environment) highlights student achievement in sustainability and social innovation and is designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry.

The Office of International Affairs and the Do Good Institute host a campus-wide contest each year to select the UMD representative(s) for RISE. PHBB received an additional $1,000 in funding from the two offices for winning this year’s campus competition and created a video to pitch their project in the RISE Showcase.

This is the third consecutive year a UMD-nominated project has won a prize in the final round of the U21 RISE Showcase & Awards. FundEd, an organization that seeks to bridge gaps in the educational, tuition and after-school needs of underprivileged children in India through direct cash transfers and technology, won “Most Collaborative” in 2021; and ROOTS Africa, a nonprofit organization that works with agriculture students in Africa and the U.S. to increase crop yields and socioeconomic conditions for farming communities in Africa, was named “Most Innovative” in the first RISE Showcase and Awards in 2020.

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