Changemaker Challenge

Changemaker Challenge & Good Coffee Panel

Monday, November 12th | 6:00-8:15pm

Meiley-Swallow Theatre | Free Admission

Catered by Blackberry Market

On Monday, November 12th the Center for Social Impact will host the 3rd annual Changemaker Challenge. The Challenge is the first opportunity this year for students to pitch ideas for social impact ventures or projects for funding. In addition to student pitches, a panel of innovative coffee professionals will share how they’re using coffee for good through their supply chains, employment strategies, and community partnerships. More on the panelists below. 


Students will give 3 minute pitches that overview their chosen problem, solution, and their potential for positive social impact. Student winners will have access to funding (up to $2,500 each) and mentoring to take their ideas to the next level.

Our esteemed panel of judges:

  1. North Central College President, Dr. Troy Hammond
  2. Future Founders COO, Katie Sowa
  3. BrewPoint Coffee Owner, Melissa Villanueva
  4. North Central College Executive in Residence, Mike Soenke

Good Coffee Panel

In addition to a discussion of business and purpose from the following panelists, Connor McGury, North Central College’s Entrepreneur in Residence, will also be providing an overview of the new Coffee Lab space set to launch on campus in early 2019.

Our expert panelists include:

  1. Pete Leonard, Second Chance Coffee Company 
  2. Melissa Villanueva, BrewPoint Coffee 
  3. Jerry Thalman, Enactus 

About the Panelists

Second Chance Coffee Company, LLC is a coffee roasting business that was formed in 2007 to accomplish two things—roast and distribute truly exceptional coffee, and help transform the lives of post-prison people in the process. The company roasts and distributes coffee under the brand name "I Have a Bean". 

BrewPoint Coffee is a company that creates and empowers authentic community spaces through coffee. They have three coffee shops in Elmhurst, IL and a growing wholesale company dedicated to empowering other cafes to make their own community spaces in their neighborhoods. BrewPoint is in the process of becoming certified minority & women owned.

Enactus’s mission is to help small local and global entrepreneurs become financially sustainable. As part of that mission, NCC’s Best Coffee serves as a direct trade, student run entity that supports Guatemalan coffee farmers.