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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2018, students applied to join the Class of 2018 on 285 campuses across 57 nations. 30 campuses worldwide (just 11%) were selected to host the 402 Millennium Fellows in the global pilot this year.

The Class of 2018 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 48,785 hours and their 214 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 393,449 people worldwide.



Alma College | Michigan, United States | Advancing SDG 2 and SDG 12 & UNAI 9


" When you start a project on your own or with just a few other students on campus, it can be way too easy to lose sight of your purpose. Being connected to other Millennium Fellows means we can build a worldwide community focused on purposeful ideas, and truly make the world a better place. I can't wait to see what we accomplish. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Big Box Farm Project

The Big Box Farm Project is aimed at ensuring year-round access to sustainable and nutritious food by converting an abandoned former K-Mart building into an indoor aquaponic facility. The project is operating in an area of the Midwest where there is higher level of poverty and increase access to nutritional food will play a key role in increasing community health and wellness as well as to stimulate the local economy and better the environment by promoting shopping locally. Additionally, the project focus on the reutilization of existing infrastructure.

The projected outcomes of our project by December of 2018 include operating a small scale aquaponics system to serve as a model for our long term goal of a full scale aquaponics facility. This small scale model will allow for experiments to be run on how to most efficiently run the system, as well as better plan for the operating cost and factors of a full scale system. This also provides an opportunity to bring campus and community together through outreach events. Building this relationship is one of the most important focuses for the project moving forward. Another focus will be on fundraising efforts for the purchase of the K-Mart facility and equipment.

The long term goal is to create a full scale indoor farming facility and food network for mid-Michigan. This network will provide nutritional local food for large hubs like schools and hospitals as well as for household consumption. The team aims to raise community health and ensure access to nutritional food no matter a person’s income level.

About the Millennium Fellow

Sam Nelson's commitment to this project comes from a lifelong love of the role that food plays in our lives. He practically grew up in the restaurants his parents have worked at and ran. However, it was his interest in international politics that brought him to Alma College, and it's certainly given him opportunities in the backyard and around the world. He is a member of the Model UN team, currently serves as Student Congress Treasurer, and he is involved with various activist groups on campus concerned with politics, environmentalism, and human rights.

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