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Polls Close March 3 for 1L Matt Norris in White House Campus Challenge

FEBRUARY 28, 2012—Last week Matt Norris (’14) got a call from the White House. He learned that A-List, the nonprofit teen organization he co-founded, was one of the 15 finalists in the Campus Champions of Change Challenge the White House launched last fall.

"All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world," President Obama said in introducing the Challenge, created to spotlight the efforts of involved students and offer inspiration to others.

The five finalists receiving the most votes before midnight on Saturday, March 3, will be invited to an event at the White House and given the opportunity to host an episode of mtvU’s "The Dean's List."

A-List co-founders Norris and Asha Sharma were University of Minnesota students in 2008 when they entered an Ernst & Young competition with a business plan for a snack and apparel shop run by and for teens. Their win provided a $10,000 seed grant. Soon foundations, businesses, and individual supporters stepped up, and the City of Brooklyn Park, Minn., provided funding toward renovating a facility on Brooklyn Boulevard and Zane Avenue. A-List opened its doors in April 2011.

In addition to its revenue-producing pursuits, A-List provides teens a place to socialize and learn. With the help of volunteers, it offers afterschool tutoring, mentoring, college readiness assistance, career option presentations, employment skill-building, and other professional and personal development activities. Norris and Sharma dream of establishing a network of A-List shops to serve youth across Minnesota and ultimately in every corner of the country.

To vote, go to https://campuschallenge.uservoice.com/forums/148562-campus-champions-of-change-challenge/suggestions/2619298-the-a-list-matt-norris-university-of-minnesota.

Click on "Vote" and three ballots will appear, which can be cast for a single project or spread among the finalists.


Matt Norris and Asha Sharma

From left, Matt Norris (’14) and Asha Sharma