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Student Projects and Small Grants

Students from Alternative Spring Break Asian Youth Services (Chicago, IL)

The Institute has created two funding mechanisms to (1) stimulate learning about leadership through practice, (2) encourage and support student initiative, and (3) seed innovative projects that will contribute to the Institute, campus community, and/or society:  

BLI Student Project funding provides BLI Fellows with grants up to $1,500 and other forms of support to launch medium to long-term team projects that address issues about which they are passionate. 

BLI Small Grants, with a rolling application deadline and a speedy review process, ensure the opportunity to support short-term projects or unexpected opportunities and are up to $200.

Click on the links above to find out details about each funding opportunity including eligibility. To apply, please visit the BLI Online Application Site.

Past Student Projects

2015-2016 Student Projects

Pantanal Partnership Solar Project 2016 (Pantanal Region, Brazil)
The Pantanal Partnership Solar Project 2016 implemented solar-powered portable lights and a freezer in an isolated community in the Brazilian Pantanal. Their project goals were to (1) increase awareness of renewable energy in a rural community; (2) determine efficiency, maintenance, and ongoing costs to determine feasibility of solar energy generation; and (3) conduct interviews with 3 community members to increase our understanding on the utilization and appeal of solar powered devices in rural communities.

Perception (Ann Arbor, MI)
Perception was a student film project involving 16 students and is connected to Screen Arts and Culture 400. The film itself aimed at exploring how relationships founded in virtual reality or online platforms have the potential to skew our perspectives and expectations of other humans. Through the film the student group hoped to (1) obtain mastery of the production process, (2) bring student vision to life, (3) learn specific leadership roles and skills, (4) and incorporate peer feedback via a post-production film screening.

2014-2015 Student Projects

Dynamix Wheels (Ann Arbor, MI)
Dynamix Wheels is a group of students working to produce a wheelchair that autonomously converts in both height and form between a wheelchair and a bed. Their product will enable nurses to safely transport patients from chair to bed and back again with gentleness, safety, and dignity.

Education Unlocked (Detroit, MI)
Education Unlocked was created to provide valuable information on higher education in America to Albanian-American students from ages 14-18. They hope to widen and enrich the discussion of education within the Albanian community, share preparation materials for ACT, SAT, and AP exams, and inspire other college students/recent college graduates in the Albanian community to take action and mentor young students. This year, they will add a mentoring component, a more structured student panel, and expanded evaluation with pre and post event surveys.

Michigan Health Aid Community Coordinated Preventative Screening (Ann Arbor, MI)
Michigan Health Aid is dedicated to improving universal health through preventative medicine, health education and leadership development. They plan on providing free health screenings for the uninsured and underinsured while increasing awareness regarding proper health related choices.

Miscellania Crash Course Convention (Ann Arbor, MI)
Miscellania’s goal is to help people discover their passions and are organizing a convention consisting of a large selection of lessons (15-20), allowing people to experience several new fields of interest. They aim to provide a venue where people can learn and equally important teach new and exciting things in an interactive, no-pressure, and fun environment.

Past Small Grants

2015-2016 Small Grant Recipients

Jessica Greenspan - Green Building Leadership Camp (Shanghai, China)

Women in Leadership Lessons – Emotional Intelligence Event (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Anna Forringer-Beal - Notre Dame's Gender Studies Conference (Notre Dame, Indiana)

Take a Tampon Leave a Tampon (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Blackchap Startup (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Women in Leadership Lessons – Leaders and Best of Ann Arbor Speaker Panel (Ann Arbor, Michigan) (Ann Arbor, Michigan)


2014-2015 Small Grant Recipients

Alternative Spring Break – Burton, Texas (Burton, TX)

Basement Arts’ World Premier of the Play Istanbul (Ann Arbor, MI)

Growing Power Food Systems Alternative Spring Break (Milwaukee, WI)

Michi-Ghana (Ann Arbor, MI)

Women in Leadership Lessons (Ann Arbor, MI)

Lejla Bajgoric - Lend for America Summit

Want to know more about BLI Student Project Grant Recipients' experiences? Visit our "Student Voices" blog!