Ascend Selects First Winners for College Scholarship Program


One week after launching Challenge Accepted!, a free public version of Ascend’s gamified goal-setting platform, the education technology startup has selected its first two winners.

Challenge Accepted! is a free program that offers $500 college scholarships to students ages 14 and older for completing short challenges at home such as learning to code for an hour, cooking a meal for their family, writing a letter to the elderly, and more. Teens can register at

Currently, students across the country have accepted over 1,000 challenges in the platform. As students complete challenges, they earn points. Students receive a raffle entry for every 10,000 points they earn through completing challenges. Winners are selected at random. Two winners will be selected each week for the duration of the program. The first week’s winners were Catherine N. of Texas and Caroline C. of North Carolina. “I enjoyed learning a new language and drafting a poem [about my time at home]. Those challenges gave me something to think about and truly put effort into,” said Caroline. Catherine, a high school senior, recommends Challenge Accepted! to other students her age because “it helps you do productive things and keep track of your goals.”

The challenges launched during the first week included a virtual tour of a NASA facility, learning to code for an hour through Khan Academy, writing a poem about staying at home, and writing notes of gratitude to loved ones, among others. Challenges are crafted to support the physical, mental, and emotional health of students during their time at home. “I feel humbled after sending thank you notes to some of the most important people in my life,” said one participant who wrote notes of gratitude. “They have had great effects on my success and well being, but I do not always stop to show them that appreciation. This challenge was wonderful because it allowed me to step out of the fast pace of life and think about all the amazing people that I am lucky to have around me.”

“We’re excited to be able to offer students a path to engagement during this trying time, as well as help in funding their college or trade school careers,” said Co-founder and COO Christine Nicodemus. “Putting this project together to support students and families has been really rewarding for our team, and we’re just getting started. Within just a few days, we’ve been grateful to have multiple offers of scholarship support come through. We’d love to keep this project going for as long as it’s needed.”

If you are interested in learning more about Challenge Accepted! and how you can get involved, learn more here.


About Ascend 

Ascend is a student empowerment platform that enables schools and mentoring organizations to cultivate, track, and measure student goals and achievement. Ascend is proud to be a minority and woman-owned business and supports organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond.