Sammamish organization lands $25,000 from Chase
January 5, 2010
By Christopher Huber
When Teresa Jiang, a Sammamish resident and sophomore at Interlake High School, found out Dec. 16 that she and her friends at Student Research and Development made the list of nonprofits that won $25,000, she was ecstatic.
“I was absolutely thrilled,” she said, thinking back on the day the Sammamish-based organization realized a dream.
The student-run group is one of three organizations in Washington to win the $25,000 first-round prize in the national Chase Community Giving Facebook campaign. The others are the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation, in Vancouver, and the World Water Association, in Bellevue.
One-hundred charities and nonprofits each won $25,000, and they now have a chance to win $1 million in grants in a second round of voting.
“This is like winning a game show,” said Student RND CEO and board chair Edward Jiang (of no relation to Teresa), a Sammamish resident and University of Washington freshman.
Edward Jiang said he spent up to six hours per day Nov. 15-Dec. 12 getting the word out. Teresa Jiang and other members also sent out notices on Facebook, asking people to vote. She estimated they received around 2,000 votes. More than one million votes were cast nationally, according to the campaign page.
“We realized there was an opportunity,” Edward Jiang said. “We really had a chance. We said, ‘hey, this sounds like something we could do.”
Edward Jiang said the organization, formed last April, is primarily focused on garnering a space on the Eastside to provide its members with more resources. The Chase grants will enable them to do that sooner than they would have been able to with their current $6,000 annual budget, he said. They want to purchase materials like a 3D printer and components for a few workstations.
“With $25,000, we can do a lot more than get some space up and running,” Edward Jiang said.
The organization currently holds project work sessions at Edward Jiang’s parents’ house. Members are developing applications for the iPhone, as well as a plasma speaker.
The goals of Student RND are to educate students about science and technology by providing hands-on learning opportunities, and show the applications of science and technology. The organization provides an extended outlet to students who want to enrich limited or textbook-heavy school science curriculum.
“You have to do stuff to learn it,” Edward Jiang said.
Another goal of the organization is to develop student leadership through running a nonprofit organization.
Everyone helps in running the group, planning and implementing the projects.
All members not only work on projects but also help organize community outreach events.
“We’d like to partner with businesses in the area. They don’t have to be science or tech companies,” Edward Jiang said.
He said with partners they would be able to do more in the community.
Student RND has a chance to win a lot more money. If it receives enough votes in the second round of the Community Giving campaign from Jan. 15 to Jan. 22, it could win $1 million or be one of five runners-up to get $100,000, according to the Chase Facebook page.
Over the next few weeks, the top-100 organizations will be submitting their Big Idea for what they would do with $1 million. Visit http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving between Jan. 15-22 to vote.
Reporter Christopher Huber can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.