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If you could change one thing, what would you change?

We believe college is a time to work on projects we're passionate about, whether that's health, education, social justice, poverty, environmental sustainability, or anything else you care about!

optiMize is a place to ask "why not me?" and take action. Whether you have lots of prior experience or none at all, we're a supportive community who will help you find your next steps!

The optiMize Challenge begins in October. We host workshops from October to February to help you develop your project, practice new skills, and work with experienced mentors. You'll be amazed how much progress you can make if you focus on your project for four months.

Then in February, the most promising projects are selected to become optiMize Fellows. Fellowship projects receive up to $20,000 per team—it's enough funding to spend a summer working full-time on your project!

You can join with a project you're working on, or just your passion for a certain topic! Everyone is welcome. We'll even help you find other people to work with if you don't have a team!

Stop waiting for someone else to change the world.  Ask yourself "why not me?"


Who are optiMizers?

We're a community of students just like you! From freshmen to PhD students, we all support each other as we develop our own self-directed social impact projects. Click these images to read our stories, and find more on Instagram @socialinnovators.


The optiMize Community Calendar

Check out our community events calendar and come hang out with us! Click an event for more details.

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Supporting student innovators.


Supporting student innovators.


We create projects that illuminate possibilities.

optiMizers are increasing access to sustainable food, making education more inclusive, reducing waste in the medical system, and more. Whether you want to work in underserved communities, use artificial intelligence to make a positive impact, or do something we haven't even imagined yet, we'll help you get started.


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Student-led education.


Student-led education.


We bring people together for transformative education.

We believe everyone has the potential to be an innovator! Our programs are designed to awaken the curiosity we all have inside us. No experience is necessary — once you spend some time at our workshops and events, we're pretty sure you'll be buzzing with energy and ideas you never knew you had!


In partnership with

optiMize is a collaborative partnership between the optiMize student organization and full-time staff in the optiMize department of the University of Michigan's College of LSA.


Collaborating regularly with


And always grateful for our friends at

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Stay up to date!


Stay up to date!


And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
— Howard Zinn