Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition encourages middle and high school youth across the county to identify an issue in their school, neighborhood or community, create a plan to address that issue, and implement the plan. The goal is to encourage, support and reward the youth of Loudoun County for making positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.
Step Up teams are making a difference! More than 60 teams of middle and high school students filled the School Board meeting room in Ashburn on March 28 with their projects, which offered ways to better protect the environment, promote healthy living and help support their neighbors in need.
Finals and Awards will be held at Brambleton Library on April 11, 2019. The top ten teams advancing to the finals are:
Bridges, by a team from Park View High School;
• COBRA: Cancer Onslaught By Raising Awareness, with team members from the Academy of Science, Briar Woods High School, Rock Ridge High School, Stone Bridge High School and Thomas Jefferson High School;
• From Me To You, by a team from Stone Hill Middle School;
• iloom–Returns to Work, by students from Farmwell Station Middle School and Loudoun Valley High School;
• Resi-lution, by a team from Brambleton Middle School and Rock Ridge High School;
• STEM for Scouts, by a student from Stone Bridge High School and the Academy of Engineering and Technology;
• StudentCounselor by a Brambleton Middle School student;
• TED-Ed Club Loudoun, by students from John Champe High School and Rock Ridge High School;
• The Kindness Project by a team from Freedom High School; and
• Under Her, created by River Bend Middle School and Potomac Falls High School students.
211 youth presented on March 28, 2019
65 teams shared their projects
8,452 hours were spent on your projects
27,335 people were impacted by your caring ideas
$226,091 of economic impact was made to Loudoun County (using the Virginia Value of Volunteer Time)
2018 Competition: On April 5th, Loudoun Youth, Inc. narrowed down a field of 63 teams consisting of more than 200 students at the 8th Annual Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition, inviting the top ten teams to return and compete on April 12th for cash prizes. All ten teams presented their projects to a panel of judges to compete for places 1-10. First place finisher received $1,000, 2nd place $700, 3rd place $400, and teams 4-10 each received $200. Loudoun Youth Inc., Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services present the Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition annually in partnership with the Youth Advisory Council and Loudoun County Public Schools. Step Up is sponsored by YouthQuest Foundation.
Congratulations to all the young leaders who participated in this event!
2018 Top Ten Teams:
FIRST Princess Packages Lina A. and Shahlaley N. developed a program to combat loneliness and self-confidence issues in young girls in hospitals by creating packages to help them feel like princesses. Dominion & Heritage High Schools
SECOND Nothing’s ImPASTAble Tutoring/Mentoring Program Manali G. and Umika T. developed a tutoring and mentoring program for elementary school students to help them build self-confidence while assisting them with their academics and building relationships. Rock Ridge High School
THIRD Citizenship Coach Ari D. developed an app to help people who are in the process of becoming US citizens by creating a program for them to prepare for the citizenship test and interview. The program is free and available to all on Google Assistant. Brambleton Middle School
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Giovanni C. and Daniel S. fundraised for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation so they can provide funding for research and financial aid to families that can’t afford their child’s cancer treatment. Woodgrove High School
Bridges David T., Ericka T., Kassandra R., Lisbeth R., Mamona R. and Rubby B. designed an app to send out messages to ELL students; created advocacy groups and created school bonding events to combat the existing divide between ELL and fluent English speakers at Park View High School. Park View High School
COBRA: Cancer Onslaught By Raising Awareness Akash P., Bhavya S., Ria S., Ronit S., Sai T. and Shrinath I. increased community awareness about cancer by outreach in schools, through the pathways of social media, direct communication with peers, and by organizing awareness events. They also created a mobile app to inform the people about cancer causing foods. Eagle Ridge, Stone Hill & Trailside Middle Schools, Briar Woods High School
Knobesity Vishana B. created awareness about obesity and how to prevent it by promoting healthy eating, lifestyle, and exercise. Mercer Middle School
Kolors 4 Kids Laasya D. and Madhuri S. educated people on how they can help the environment by recycling art supplies the proper way. They collected over 10,000 art supplies to donate to those less. Belmont Ridge & Eagle Ridge Middle Schools
LoudounX Zain A. created a website for high school students to collaboratively connect and find opportunities such as internships, volunteering, competitions, and other resources. Rock Ridge High School
NEST Nurtures Esha V., Nikhita K., Shreyaa V. and Tanmai K. spread awareness about food waste in the community using social media and a dedicated website. They cooked surplus food into nutritious meals and donated them for those in need. Over 100 volunteers work with NEST and they learned JAVA to develop their own app. Farmwell Station & Belmont Ridge Middle Schools and Riverside & Broad Run High Schools
2017 Top Ten:
Clean Up Beaverdam Creek Reservoir (Rock Ridge High School): an ongoing effort to clean up and raise awareness of Beaverdam Reservoir
Be Me For a Day (Broad Run High School): creates “a day in the life” videos to assist high school students and adults in choosing a profession
*First Place* – Call of Security (Rock Ridge High School): develops a free machine to combat cyber threats
*Third Place* – Clean Kits (John Champe High School): collects hygiene and sanitary products for homeless women in Loudoun County
Environment Rescuers (Rock Ridge High School): educates and raises money to understand the water crisis around the world and make long-lasting changes
Every Voice Heard (Harper Park Middle School): creates a website to address depression and suicide, where individuals can share their stories
Loudoun Purity (Eagle Ridge and Stone Hill middle schools): raises money through a 3K run for hygiene kits for the residents of the Leesburg Homeless Shelter
Personal Teach (Stone Hill Middle School): a program that helps students combat low academic proficiency
*Second Place* – Put It Down! (Eagle Ridge, Mercer and Stone Hill middle schools): raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving
UnSalted (Riverside High School): creates an app that provides tools to help high school students cope with and decrease stress
History and Description
The program was started in 2004 as a way for youth to speak out about issues they observed in their schools and communities. Over the years, it has evolved to allow youth an opportunity not only to speak out but also to have an impact on the issues they find pressing.
Starting in October, program coordinators visit local middle and high schools to promote the competition to guidance counselors, teachers and students. At the end of the competition period, youth showcase their projects to each other, judges and the local community. All projects are recognized in some way, but the top ten win cash prizes.
Issues Identified by Youth
Help us recognize and support the incredible youth of Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition. To help Loudoun Youth Inc. continue to bring Step Up and other programs to our youth, learn about our sponsorships.