Harford Community College took top prize in the recent Changemaker Challenge sponsored by the United Way. The College’s winning entry was for the BeVocal program, which is designed to connect students with mental health resources offered at HCC and in the local community.
The program was conceptualized by Harford nursing faculty member Jessica Powers and her colleague Lindsey Leeds, both students in Salisbury University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. As part of their doctoral research, they are piloting the BeVocal program. Winning the $25,000 Changemaker Challenge Award will allow Harford Community College to operationalize the BeVocal program, to include hiring peer educators to engage students in making connections with available mental health resources.
In addition to Powers, the grant team included Nicole Hoke Wilson, Anthony Davis Crowder, Natalie Shaw, and Jennie Towner. HCC student Michael Smith assisted with the Changemaker Challenge pitch and supported the project from the beginning.
The Changemaker Challenge, which was sponsored by the United Way, is a social innovation challenge encouraging fresh thinking to address pressing issues in Harford County. Individuals and nonprofit organizations were invited to submit their ideas focusing on sustainable actions to help residents and communities recover from the pandemic and the inequities it exposed.
The College greatly appreciated the outpouring of community support for this project.