LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)– The United Way of Central Maryland and the Horizon Foundation awarded thousands of dollars to people proposing social change in Howard County.

The groups selected from 9 finalists who presented their big ideas to a live audience of 250 community members and a panel of judges.

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The four winners include Orlando Goncalves and Alfred Striano for their Upcycled Structures from Recycled Goods idea. For that they were awarded $25,000.

Liz Burrage, Colette Jackson and Bryan Sorrentino of The Arc of Howard County won $15,000 for their Community Accessibility with Dignity idea.

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Drs. Leah Katherine Saal and Lisa Schoenbrodt won $10,000 for their Strategic Training for Empathic Emergency Response program.

Finally, Pamela Woolford also won $10,000 for her Spreading the Word about Columbia’s Black Freedom Visionaries idea.

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“We were blown away by the ideas we received this year,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO, the Horizon Foundation. “The Changemaker Challenge showcases the power, creativity and energy of our community to address complex social problems. The breadth of challenges addressed, and the creativity used to address those challenges is inspiring. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated, enterprising individuals and nonprofits who truly care about social change and making our community a better place for everyone.”