Win a trip to Nicaragua – Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change competition launches today!


Microsoft is hosting a global contest that asks 13-25 year-olds how they spark positive change in their communities, and how Microsoft tools and resources could help them do more. 30 finalists will win a Surface Pro 3 with Office 365, and ten grand prize winners will win a life-changing leadership development trip to Nicaragua, $2500 to help them turn their ideas into a reality, a Windows Phone, and the opportunity to be a Microsoft YouthSpark Advocate! Today we’re excited to announce that the 2015 Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change competition is now open and welcoming submissions!

YouthSpark - Challenge for Change

Overview of the YouthSpark Challenge for Change

Sparking change can be big or small, and everyone starts somewhere. It can be volunteering as a tutor or mentor to a young person; organizing a local food collection; developing an app or a game to address a community issue; participating in community events; speaking out for a cause the student cares about; or even starting an organization to support a favourite cause – no idea is too big or too small. We expect the finalists and grand prize winners to be a mix of students who are creating positive change in small but important ways, as well as those who are epic change-makers working across their school, community, region, or the globe. Their ideas may be brand new and untested, or they may be something they’ve been doing for years.

Whatever the idea, we want to hear it!


The contest is open to individuals aged 13 – 25 years old during the contest submission period of February 25 – March 25, 2015. Individuals do not need to be students as long as they meet the age requirement and other entry requirements for the contest, which can be found on the YouthSpark Hub.

Microsoft Student Partners, YouthSpark Advocates, or Microsoft in Education Student Ambassadors who meet the eligibility criteria set forth in the official rules are eligible to enter the Contest, and we hope you will!


Participants will need to answer the following questions and submit a current photo:

  1. What cause do you care about most? Why?
  2. How do you support (or would you like to support) this cause?
  3. How could Microsoft technology help you do more to support this cause? Please be specific – give examples!
  4. If you won the prize package, how would you use it to do more good?

Individuals aged 13 to 25 who meet the criteria in the official rules can enter by completing the entry form online before March 25th at 12:00 PM EST (16:00 GMT). There are two separate age categories in the contest: One age group is for 13-17 year-olds, and the other is for 18-25 year-olds.

Entries may only be accepted in English. If English is not the entrant’s native language and they want to write their entry in another language first, they can use Bing Translator to help them translate the entry to English before entering the contest.

To enter visit Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change.


- 30 finalists (15 per age group) will win a Surface Pro 3 with Office 365.
- 10 grand prize winners (5 from each age group) will win:

  • A life-changing, two-week, travel experience to Nicaragua to learn about leadership and social change
  • $2,500 cash  to help turn their ideas into a reality
  • A Windows Phone
  • The opportunity to serve as a Microsoft YouthSpark Advocate for the year and take advantage of YouthSpark events and resources


Everyone will take something different from there time on the leadership development trip, but to give you an idea of what previous winners have experienced, we think it’s best to let them tell you themselves…

Good luck!!

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