Prove It!



Deadline for submission of applications in electronic form is: Friday, April 19, 2019 at 11:59pm


Do you have an idea that would improve or inspire change on campus? UMBC SGA wants to give you $10,000 to support the implementation of your idea for the 2019-2020 academic year, and make it a reality!

Prove It! is designed to challenge you to think about opportunities for growth in the UMBC community. Who better to inspire change in our community than us? Now is your chance to make it happen.

Create a project, service, or event that adds value, strengthens and/or inspires pride. Submit your idea online via the entry form (individually or in small groups) or attach a pitch video. All ideas are good ideas! Do not be discouraged if your idea is not completely developed. Students with promising proposals will be paired with faculty advisors to help with the development of ideas to ensure that you make a lasting mark on campus. The top three entries will have the chance to pitch their idea to the student body. Then, the student body will ultimately decide the winner.

How to Enter

Complete the UMBC Prove it! Entry Form, which asks you to describe a problem or opportunity at UMBC and describe your idea for addressing it. The videos are not required, but they are encouraged as an effective way to communicate ideas to the Prove it! committee. YouTube videos are limited to 1 minute. Remember to have fun!

Competition Rules


Prove it! is open to all undergraduate UMBC students. Individual students or student teams of up to five people may enter the contest (limited to 1 entry per person or team). Applicants must be in good academic standing with the university and must plan to return for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 academic semesters. For teams, at least one student must be returning. SGA officers (elected or appointed), and candidates running for SGA office are not eligible to compete.

Previous Prove it! Initiatives:

1. True grit statues
This statue depicts the school’s mascot and one can still be found outside the RAC

2. Community Garden
Near Fine Arts, between the library pond and the Performing Arts and Humanities Building,  a small terrace can be found. Student organizations still use this space to create community .

3. Solar Panel Tables
Have you sat outside at one of the tables on the Commons Terrace or outside the RAC and been able to charge your devices? This is a result of the Solar Panel Tables that were installed as a Prove it! initiative.

4. Commons Garage Counter
The counter in Commons Garage previously did not exist, so often students would enter hoping there were available spots and have to turn around at the top level. Now, drivers can see how many spaces are available before entering the garage.

5. Retriever Treasures
Students often have stuff left over when moving out of their dorms when the spring semester ends, so Retriever Treasures was established as a yard sale-type event for other students to pick up that stuff!

Example Idea Themes To Get You Started:

  1. Products or Services
  2. Social or “Green” Concerns
  3. Campus Innovations

Things to Consider When Developing Your Idea:

1. Identification and Definition of the Problem/Opportunity

  • Has the problem/opportunity been described in a clear and convincing manner?

2. Value Creation

  • Is this an original idea? How innovative is the idea?

3. Feasibility of Implementing the Solution/Idea

  • Does the idea create economic or social value? Is it possible for this idea to be implemented within the next year? How practical is the idea when it comes to implementation?

4. Sustainability

  • How will your initiative be successful when you are no longer a student at UMBC? How can you create a project that will stand the test of time?

Judging Process

First, a committee of staff, faculty, and SGA staff will review and score all entries using several criteria. The most promising entries will be assigned faculty advisor to ensure that their idea is well integrated into UMBC and discuss realistic implementation strategies.

The top three finalists will be invited to discuss their proposals with the selection committee and may be asked to change their plans and/or budgets to meet the selection committee’s criteria or expectations or to conform to SGA and UMBC policies.

Making requested changes will substantially increase the likelihood that a proposal will be selected. Â

SGA and the selection committee will determine the timetable and conditions for the release of all funds awarded through this initiative. Finally, each group will have the opportunity to create videos/other advertisements for their idea. These advertisements will ultimately be seen by the entire student body, whose vote will determine the winner. During the final week of the competition, the student body will vote for the 2018-2019 Prove It! winner.


Deadline for submission of applications in electronic form is: Friday, April 19, 2019 at 11:59pm

Entrants can include a link to an original YouTube video on their entry form describing their problem and their idea. Videos may not be longer than 1 minute. On April 29th, 2019 invitations to the final competition will be sent to students with the top three best ideas (as determined by the review panel). These students will participate in the Final Competition.

If there are any questions, please contact: Fabria Jno. Baptiste ( or Howard Nicholson III (,

Application Form

Complete your form here.

In Section I of your application, you are required to name a core group of individuals who are presenting the proposal for your project. The first individual must be designated as the “Leader” or “Chair” and will be the official contact person for the SGA with regard to all aspects of the Prove It! program. You must include a maximum of four additional contacts on this form who have agreed to be responsible for your submitted project. At least one member of your group must be planning on being enrolled at UMBC for the entire 2019-2020 academic year. Student ID numbers (the number on the lower left portion of your Red Card) are required information for the purpose of verifying academic standing and undergraduate status.

Section II:
In Section II of your application, you are required to explain and detail your event/project. Please follow the directions for each part carefully.

Part 1: Overview
Provide a brief (250 words or less) summary of your idea or submit a 1 minute video. Please include background information and describe the overall mission and purpose of your project.

Part 2: Benefit to UMBC
Explain (in 250 words or less) how your idea would benefit all members of the UMBC community.

Section III:
Section III is optional for the initial application, but will eventually need to be completed. However, applications that include this information from the start will generally have a better chance of being selected.

(Optional) Part 1: Implementation Plan
Present a detailed implementation plan for your project. More serious consideration will be given to descriptions that contain more specific information. You are responsible for doing the legwork necessary to ensure that your proposal will pass a “reality check.” For example, if your proposal would require the permission or cooperation of a campus administrator, you will increase your proposal’s chances of being selected if you can explain in this section that you have contacted the administrator and he/she has given the necessary permission or cooperation. Before you contact campus administrators, please consider taking advantage of the information SGA has made available on the Prove It! web site ( and getting the advice and support of the people identified there as helpful resources.

(Optional) Part 2: Timeline
Please attach a tentative timeline for the project planning and execution beginning in mid-May 2018 (when the student body will choose the winning entry) to the final stage.

(Optional) Part 3: Budget
Please submit a line item budget detailing all of the expenditures that you anticipate. These numbers should be as accurate and detailed as possible. Seek out quotes and estimates (e.g. how much exactly do commonvision banners cost?) and include documentation whenever possible.

(Optional) Part 4: Letters of Support
Please submit letters supporting and/or expressing intended cooperation of any person, office or student organization that will play a role in implementing your proposal.