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Deadline nears for Laker Effect Challenge teams

  • Group of seven people holding large check

Posted on March 13, 2019

Teams that want to participate in the Laker Effect Challenge can submit a proposal through March 18.

The Laker Effect Challenge, which will be held April 11 at the DeVos Center, is a unique opportunity to present an innovative idea that will make lasting community change, according to Travus Burton, director for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

Challenge teams must be affiliated with a Grand Valley department; last year, the DECA Blazers team, affiliated with the Seidman College of Business, won the challenge and $2,500 to implement their project at Innovation Central High School in Grand Rapids.

A popular vote from campus community members will select the top five Laker Effect Challenge teams that will then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges April 11, from 6-8 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium. Online voting to name the five presenting finalists will run March 19-25, visit for more details.

Judges for the challenge are listed below:

• Ken Bair, store manager for Bridge Street Market;

• Jim Davis, executive director of Westside Collaborative;

• Janean Couch, program director for Grand Rapids Community Foundation;

• Jermale Eddie, owner of Malamiah Juice Bar; and

• Jenn Schaub, director of community building and engagement for Dwelling Place.

The Laker Effect Challenge will follow the Civic Engagement Showcase, set for 2-4:30 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium. Burton said the showcase represents past and current projects with community partners, and the challenge represents future engagements.

Proposals are being accepted for the Civic Engagement Showcase, learn more online at