Grace Liu explaining the approach to ReTE (Photos from Bill of Rights Institute)

National MyImpact Challenge Awarded To Syosset High Schooler

Grace Liu of Syosset High School was awarded the $5,000 second prize in the national MyImpact Challenge Contest. The MyImpact Challenge is a civic engagement contest hosted by the Bill of Rights Institute which awards students aged 13-19 for various activities.

Liu placed second nationwide due to her nonprofit organization, Research to Empower (ReTE). The organization aims to provide education to underrepresented communities.

In middle school, Liu became interested in research. The introduction to her project report reads:

“[In middle school] when questions that stemmed from my observations couldn’t be answered by my teachers, they recommended me to ‘do a little digging’ myself. To my shock, dismay, and confusion, most research programs exclusively cater to high school students, often accompanied by exorbitant fees.”

ReTE is a student-led non-profit organization that inspires and supports students’ passion for education and research. On top of being a fun and engaging environment, the organization is cost-free. 

Grace Liu, Syosset High School student

All in-person and virtual classes, online resources and podcasts are free in an effort to promote equality in academia.

“Every young mind deserves the opportunity to discover their passion, develop critical thinking skills, unleash their innate creativity, initiate research projects, and apply their knowledge to address real-world needs in their community,” Liu wrote in her essay.

More than 400 students participate in the MyImpact Challenge each year. 

In addition to the $5,000 prize, Liu received a Daily Point of Light Award from Points of Light, which is a foundation founded by former President George H.W. Bush focused on volunteer work.

“Civic education should not be confined to the four walls of a classroom,” said David Bobb, president and CEO of the Bill of Rights Institute. “Through MyImpact Challenge, students are putting their skills and knowledge to work to improve their communities, solve local problems, and take the first steps toward a lifetime of civic engagement.”

ReTE works extensively with Long Island communities, and has also conducted events spanning over 20 countries since 2022.

“The demands from students to learn research are increasing,” Liu wrote in her essay.

With the work of ReTE, accessibility to research becomes a reality to young students.

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