College Edition


Idea Generation/Next: College Edition (IGN-CE),  is a pitch competition designed to encourage and promote new ideas from college students committed to addressing social issues facing our communities. It’s part of United Way’s social innovation initiative to activate students across disciplines to think about ways to improve the lives of families and children in low-income households in the counties we serve: Wake, Durham, Johnston, and Orange.

Participating colleges include: North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Technical Community College, and William Peace University.

This competition is open to all students –– from artists and social workers to econ and business majors –– IGN-CE is designed to create a pipeline of innovators with a special emphasis on college-age women and people of color, groups currently underrepresented in the entrepreneurial community.


Thanks to all the students participating in the 2017 Idea Generation/Next: College Edition.

Here are the top 15 ideas:


Destiny Alexander—NC Central University: The Tassel is Worth the Hassle

The Tassel is Worth the Hassle program will address the obstacles single mothers in poverty face when completing their education.

Tyler Ford—Shaw University: Raining Jobs

Raining Jobs is a mobile application that will connect skilled workers with employers on a short-term basis.

Esha Hickson—Wake Technical Community College: E-STARKids

E-STARKids will provide an outlet for creative expression, development, and confidence building for young children living in poverty.

Sean Jenkins—NC Central University: DataMax

DataMax is an online community assessment tool to be used by local nonprofit organizations to analyze data about the communities that they serve.

Mary Kubeny—William Peace University: SPEAK

SPEAK is a 6-week public speaking program for children in grades 3 through 5 in at-risk or under-served areas.

Nefertiti Peoples—Wake Technical Community College: Peoples’ Prep and Progress

Peoples’ Prep and Progress (P3) is an after-school program for children starting in fourth grade that incorporates parents’ participation to close the achievement gap found in lower income areas.

Jay-Len Roberts—William Peace University: BOWLS for SOULS

Building on Where Life Starts: So Our Understanding Leads Service (BOWLS for SOULS) is a program to decrease food insecurity and increase education on healthy food options through the use of breakfast cereals.

Nathan Royster—Saint Augustine’s University: Soft Skills in the Workplace

Soft Skills in the Workplace is a networking program that will teach college students “soft” skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.

Quintin Scott—Shaw University: Life of Quest

The Life of Quest program will create entry level employment opportunities for teens living in poverty to develop their employable skills.

Marjorie Segule—NC State University: Juvenile Detention Education

Juvenile Detention Education will address the school to prison pipeline created by the achievement gap that exists between students who are place on suspension at school.

Tyler Walker—NC Central University: Education to Occupation Pipeline

Education to Occupation Pipeline (ETOP) will be a mentoring and scholarship program for students in Title 1 high schools focusing on financial literacy, community engagement, and decision making in college.

Alaye Washington—NC Central University: Project Rebuild Hayti

Project Rebuild Hayti will address the issue of gentrification in the Hayti area in Durham.

Marcus Zeigler—NC State University: Building Without Badges

Building Without Badges is a program focused on creating strong relationships between local police departments and African American communities.

Kendrick Cunningham—Saint Augustine’s University: Skilled Human Resources

Skilled Human Resources will help families in poverty develop a plan of action towards obtaining further education to be better qualified for better jobs.

Kristin Moler—Wake Technical Community College: Self-Sustaining Community College Housing

Self-Sustaining Community College Housing is a program focused on providing low-cost housing for students at community colleges to ease the burden on low-income students seeking to further their education.

Here’s how it works:

  • Accelerator Program (4 weeks):  Taking place throughout February, student innovators will be paired with teams of mentors to help create business plans and hone presentation skills in preparation for the final pitch event.