Career Advancement

Past Penn Challenges

Past Penn Winning Ideas

Read about all the Finalist ideas from the first six years of the Penn Public Policy Challenge!

2015 Penn Public Policy Challenge

Schoogle - 2015 Penn Challenge Winning Team, 2015 National Challenge Finalist: Proposal to implement a supply inventory system for the School District in order to simplify and standardize the current process of inventory and asset management. Schoogle won the Penn Finals and advanced to the National Finals, earning $10,000 total to kick-start their proposal. Read the team's Executive SummaryFinal Proposal, and Meet-the-Team Blog Post. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation and National Challenge Finals Presentation.

AccessLink - 2015 Finalist: Proposal to introduce a web link connecting high school students with outside academic and social resources to increase the impact of these resources and to increase students' well-being. Read the team's Executive Summary, Final Proposal, and Meet-the-Team Blog Post. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

healthyM&E – 2015 Finalist: Proposal to develop and implement a technological solution enabling the Food Trust to monitor purchases made at healthy corner stores in Philadelphia. Read the team's Executive Summary, Final Proposal, and Meet-the-Team Blog Post. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

 SmokeFreePHL - 2015 Finalist: Proposal to introduce a proven text message-based smoking cessation program in order to reduce smoking rates and save money on health care costs. Read the team's Executive Summary, Final Proposal, and Meet-the-Team Blog Post. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

2014 Penn Public Policy Challenge

BetterBAIL 2014 Winning Team, 2014 National Challenge Finalist: Introducing an online bail payment system, saving the Philadelphia Prison System and pre-trial defendants time and money. BetterBAIL won the Penn Finals and advanced to the National Finals, earning $10,000 total to kick-start their proposal. Read the team's "Meet-the-Team" Blog Post and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation and National Challenge Finals Presentation. The team's win was covered by Governing magazine.

ARC (AlgoRithmic Care), 2014 Finalist:  Creating an algorithm to identify frequently hospitalized Medicaid recipients and then implementing interventions that are designed to dial-down medical costs and improve care. Read the team's "Meet-the-Team" Blog Post and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Fill Up Philly, 2014 Finalist: Opening mobile recreation centers in high-need areas in order to increase the number of children benefiting from the federally-funded free summer meals program, promoting community engagement and healthy behaviors. Read the team's "Meet-the-Team" Blog Post and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

iCAN, 2014 Finalist: Increasing college access for low-income students through the use of mentorship and targeted communications during the summer between high school and college. Read the team's "Meet-the-Team" Blog Post and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Philadelphia MVP, 2014 Finalist: Implementing an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for at-risk youth in order to increase high school graduation rates and decrease arrests for violent crime. Read the team's "Meet-the-Team" Blog Post and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation

2013 Penn Public Policy Challenge

re:Mind, 2013 Winning Team, 2013 National Challenge Winning Team: Creating an appointment reminder service targeting individuals discharged from inpatient mental health hospitalizations in order to decrease preventable re-hospitalizations and other undesirable outcomes that occur when patients miss their follow-up appointments.  re:Mind won both the Penn Finals and the National Finals, earning $25,000 to kick-start their proposal. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation and National Challenge Finals Presentation.  The team's win was covered by Governing Magazine and Newsworks.

Faith in Farmers, 2013 Finalist: Addressing the problem of Philadelphia's food deserts and the lack of healthy affordable foods in lower income communities by providing SNAP and WIC-eligible winter farmers' market to low-income neighborhoods through community religious institutions. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation. 

FitPhilly, 2013 Finalist: Proposing a location-based mobile application and website to promote healthy lifestyles for Philadelphians by providing information about local healthy options and lowering behavioral barriers. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Penn PUPIL, 2013 Finalist: Proposing an initiative to train and coordinate interdisciplinary health teams of University of Pennsylvania graduate students and placing them in West Philadelphia schools for year-long practicums. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Smart Justice, 2013 Finalist: Proposing a kiosk system for low risk probationers and parolees, allowing them to check-in with the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department more easily, freeing up Probation Officers to spend a greater amount of time with high-risk individuals who are more likely to recidivateRead the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. Watch the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

2012 Penn Public Policy Challenge

Closing Schools, Opening Opportunities, 2012 Winner Team, 2012 National Challenge Finalist: An innovative proposal for the redevelopment of closed, vacant public school buildings in Philadelphia.  This new program would add value to vacant schools that will not sell as-is, transforming a potentially blighting influence into a catalyst for greater development. Closing Schools won $10,000 to kick-start their policy proposal. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, One-Page Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation. The team's win was covered by Flying Kite, Governing MagazineKeystone EdgeNewsworks, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

EducaPhilly, 2012 Finalist: Educa will be a Spanish language radio program for parents of Latino students enrolled in Philadelphia Public Schools, providing information on events, resources, and services, to ensure their children's success. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post, One-Page Summary, and Final Proposal.  See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Liberty Bike Share, 2012 Finalist: Bike share program in Philadelphia. Read the team's One-Page Summary and Final Proposal.  See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Philly Benefits Bus, 2012 Finalist: Philly Benefits Bus serves as a vehicle for connecting low-income Philadelphians to the public assistance benefits to which they qualify. Read the team's Meet-the-Team Blog Post and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Triple Helix Care, 2012 Finalist: This home medical model is a comprehensive approach to delivering primary care through established heath centers. Read the team's Executive Summary and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

2011 Penn Public Policy Challenge

Virtual Supermarket, 2011 Winning Team: A virtual grocery shopping program allowing low-income residents with limited access to vehicles and Internet access to place and receive grocery orders at their local libraries and community centers. Read the team's Executive Summary and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Fair Health Philadelphia, 2011 Finalist: A web interface creating transparency on health care costs by showing Philadelphians competing health insurers' prices, including estimations for out-of-pocket expenses. Read the team's Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Impact Gardens, 2011 Finalist: A plan to simplify the process of accessing vacant, publicly owned land for the development of urban gardens. Read the team's Executive Summary and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Sub Walk Philly, 2011 Finalist: A plan to redevelop the pedestrian walkways in the South Broad Street Concourse.Read the team's Executive Summary and Final Proposal.

Walk Philly, 2011 Finalist: This plan will create "walkability" assessments of Philadelphia neighborhoods to inform policy decision-makers on how to ensure that senior citizen residents can stay active and "age in place."Read the team's Executive Summary and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

2010 Penn Public Policy Challenge

Land Philadelphia, 2010 Winning Team: In a departure from the Philadelphia's Sheriff's sale process, Land Philadelphia will use tax delinquency as an opportunity to move at-risk properties to a land-bank at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Read the team's One-Page Summary, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Educo, 2010 Finalist: Pilot program where select incarcerated individuals will be made eligible for early release upon successful completion of GED exams or other educational or vocational programming. Read the team's One-Page Summary, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Engage Philadelphia, 2010 Finalist: Coordinating with senior services throughout Philadelphia to create a comprehensive pool of resources for seniors. Read the team's One-Page Summary, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Pennsylvania Scholars, 2010 Finalist: The program will build a "culture of college" for middle school students, introducing students to the college and financial aid application process. Read the team's One-Page Summary, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation.

Renewables, 2010 Finalist: A plan to help Philadelphia sustain and grow the emerging clusters of the solar PV industry. Read the team's One-Page Summary, Executive Summary, and Final Proposal. See the team's Penn Challenge Finals Presentation

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu