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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 2020, 15,159 young leaders applied to join the Class of 2020 on 1,458 campuses across 135 nations.  80 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 1,000+ Millennium Fellows.  The Class of 2020 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. 



Florida International University | Florida, United States | Advancing SDG 11 & UNAI 9


" I am excited to work learn from this amazing community of change makers as part of the 2020 Millennium Fellowship. I hope to continue to work towards the college thrifts mission focused on creating more sustainable, inclusive, and school spirited college campuses. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: college thrifts

Every year 19.9 million students will attend colleges and universities across the United States. Buying college apparel is a popular way for students to represent their school community and exhibit their school spirit. However, students simply hoping to exhibit their commitment to pursuing higher education are being deterred from purchasing college branded apparel due to their high cost (ex. $50 sweater). In pricing these products so high, universities are excluding lower-income students who cannot afford to purchase this merchandise, while catering towards those who can. This does not align with many colleges and universities mission to foster inclusive and equitable college campuses. 'college thrifts' customer development research revealed that college students place much value in being able to represent their institutions of higher education. Over ninety-nine percent of students surveyed from across the nation agreed that wearing university branded apparel positively enhances their school spirit, which directly increases students' value in school culture, academic performance, extra-curricular attendance, unity, and belonging. However, over eighty-five percent of students stated that university branded apparel at university bookstores is unaffordable. Students have expressed a need for a platform that allows them to purchase gently used college apparel at a fraction of the bookstore prices.

Think Tinder' for college apparel. 'college thrifts' would be an app where students can buy and sell their gently used university branded apparel at a fraction of the high bookstore prices. As a peer to peer marketplace, we would need to enable social interaction among customers and be able to scale to support large real-time in-app events.

By the end of August 2020, Patricia hopes to transform my current website into an app landing page to start collecting potential users for the beta launch. She currently have over 3500 followers on the Instagram page and hopes to get at least 10% of them on my email list by the last day in August. By the first week of September 2020, she hopes to have completed at least 30 (22 completed) of her user interviews. So far, she have been able to interview students/alumni from a variety of institutions including Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) which has provided much insight on the current issues students/alumni face in this space. Based on the insight, she receive from these interviews, she hope to further refine the mock-up UIs she have created. From September to late November, she hope to work on creating a functioning app in order to be ready for beta testing. By early November, she hopes to test a beta version of the iOS platform on the App Store in preparation for launch in 2021.

About the Millennium Fellow

Patricia Garcia is a Miami native attending Florida International University (FIU). She is a rising senior in the Honors College on track to be the first graduate of FIU's newly established School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education (SUCCEED), spearheading the brand-new interdisciplinary engineering degree with a concentration in manufacturing engineering and minor in business management. Throughout her time as an undergraduate student, she has worked on various undergraduate engineering research projects at distinct institutions, including the University of California Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which sparked her interest in launching her social venture. She is the founder and CEO of 'college thrifts' an inclusive and sustainable a peer to peer marketplace for students/alumni to buy, sell, and swap their gently used college apparel. Through 'college thrifts' she wants to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of clothing waste, as well as provide a platform for students to feel part of their college communities.

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