EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Several high school students were awarded significant scholarships Monday during a virtual awards ceremony for the University of Evansville’s sixth annual High School Changemaker Challenge.

In previous years, the High School Changemaker Challenge has been held in person and open to local students who compete in teams. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s competition was hosted in a virtual format and accepted individual entries from students around the world.

UE awarded first, second, and third place to individuals from each of the two categories: social & environmental justice and health. The scholarship amounts, renewable for a total of four years, are:

  • 1st place: full tuition
  • 2nd place: $18,000 tuition and $5,000 housing
  • 3rd place: $13,000 tuition and $5,000 housing

Below is a list of the winners of the 2021 High School Changemaker Challenge:

Social & Environmental Justice

  • 1st place: Grace Davidson; North High School, Evansville, Indiana; Helping victims of sexual assault receive compassionate care
  • 2nd place: Ilya Budd; Arcola High School, Arcola, Illinois; Rethinking recycling
  • 3rd place: Barak Hall; Evansville Christian School, Evansville, Indiana; Sustainable housing

Additional finalists who competed in this category include:

  • Evelyn Hipp; Nolensville High School, Nolensville, Tennessee; Helping LGBTQ students feel supported
  • Mosad Kamal Mohammed; El Sheikh STEM School, El Hamoul City, Egypt; Multifunctional Proteins Classification Model
  • Blayre Walters; Friends’ Central High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Improving mental health for children
  • Aneesh Alapati; Castle High School, Newburgh, Indiana; Working to end gun violence in Evansville


  • 1st place: Patricia Solliday; White River Valley High School, Switz City, Indiana; Portable health care for the elderly
  • 2nd place: Ali Scott; Northeastern High School, Richmond, Indiana; Basic healthcare for K-12 kids in need
  • 3rd place: Omaima Khan; Signature School, Newburgh, Indiana; Clean needle exchange

Additional finalists who competed in this category include:

  • Amanda Deutsch; North High School, Haubstadt, Indiana; Food insecurity
  • Madison Lucas; Evansville Christian School, Evansville, Indiana; Developing a virtual blood bank
  • Lydia Preske; Signature School, Evansville, Indiana; Infant formula temperature control
  • Anish Patel; Woodbridge High School, Irvine, California; The Empowerment Gym

(This story was originally published on February 15, 2021)