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Teens Against Domestic Abuse is first winner of the iCivics Impact Grant

The ultimate measure of civic education’s success is whether young people become active participants in democracy and civic society. On April 1, 2011, iCivics launched a bold experiment to bridge from our online civics games to offline civic engagement: Impact Projects. Through Impact Projects, people who play iCivics games earn points that they can spend on voting for one of a slate of youth-led projects, selected by project partner Ashoka Youth Venture. The top vote-getter of each period wins a $1,000 cash grant from iCivics.

Teens Against Domestic Abuse co-founder Jennifer WrightWe’re pleased to announce the winner of our first round of Impact Projects, Teens Against Domestic Abuse, which earned a whopping 16.9 million points. With the average iCivics game giving out about 2,500 points, that’s about 6,750 games played in support of the project. Co-founded by Jennifer Wright, a rising senior at Merrimack High School in Nashua, N.H., TADA plans to use the funds to expand outreach:

If TADA were to receive the iCivics funding, we would be able to further our efforts by reaching more communities.  It costs a lot to print brochures, appear at events, and drive to speaking engagements, so the money would allow us to more than double our current efforts.  We would be able to reach many more teenagers and make an impact on their lives by teaching them how to protect themselves and the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

In addition to supporting a worthy program, iCivics is also excited by the fact that Impact Projects motivated visitors to engage more deeply with our learning games. After the program launched, we saw a significant increase in the amount of time people spent on the site, and supportive comments popped up all over the site.

Impact Projects are made possible by a strategic investment from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The next round of Impact Project competitions will start soon - sign up to learn when and which youth-run organizations are in the running!