HIGHLIGHTS: UP TO US 2013 – 2014

The University of Texas- Pan American Up to Us team was recognized by President Clinton,
Michael Peterson, and Liz Maw at CGI U 2014 in Phoenix, AZ

As elected leaders stayed gridlocked in Washington early in 2014, students competing in the second year of Up to Us united students on their campuses and across the country as they ran creative campaigns to educate and engage their peers on the impact of the national debt. The University of Texas-Pan American team won 1st prize and was rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip to CGI U, where they were recognized by President Clinton, Peterson Foundation President and COO Michael Peterson, and Net Impact CEO Liz Maw.

In this second year of competition, each student team was asked to create a video that represented their campaign and educated viewers on the national debt. The student videos can all be viewed in the 2014 Campaign playlist embedded below:

In 2014, Up to Us teams took engagement to the next level — they educated their peers about the national debt through on-campus partnerships, digital engagement strategies, videos, and on campus in-person events. U.S. Senators and Congressmen participated in on-campus events and received petitions, letters, and postcards from their constituents, and teams took the message of Up to Us beyond their campuses and into their communities, visiting local high schools and community centers to raise awareness about the nation’s rising debt in the larger community.

The 22 teams that participated in Year 2 of Up to Us were:

Bellarmine University Belmont University
California State University, Fullerton Duke University
George Washington University Illinois Institute of Technology
Luther College Miami University
New York University Northwestern University
Oklahoma State University Pace University
Rice University The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Tufts University University of Central Florida
University of Michigan University of New Mexico
University of Tennessee University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas-Pan American West Virginia Wesleyan College

Together, these teams engaged nearly 19,000 students and partnered with more than 240 other campus groups to communicate about our fiscal future.

The winners of the second year of the Up to Us competition:

  • Overall Winner: The University of Texas-Pan American ($10,000 prize)
  • Building Awareness: University of Texas at Austin
  • Participant Engagement: University of Tennessee, Knoxville ($2,500 prize)
  • Creativity: Rice University
  • Extended Reach: Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Rules & Participation: Northwestern University



Students spread word on U.S. debt, Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), 03/16/14
UT students construct box fort to provide sustainability, debt awareness, Knox News (Knoxville, TN), 2/22/14
CSUF “It’s Up to Us” team holds rally to raise awareness of federal debt, The Daily Titan (Fullterton, CA), 2/19/14
Up to Us UCF team brings economic knowledge to students, Central Florida Future (Orlando, FL), 2/16/14
Stockton students highlight a $17 trillion issue: National debt, Press of Atlantic City (Atlantic City, NJ), 2/10/14
WVWC Students Educating People About National Deficit, CBS 5 (Bridgeport, WV), 1/28/14
Students give lowdown on federal debt, NYU News (New York, NY), 1/26/14
Students tackle national debt issue in competition, The Daily O’Collegian (Stillwater, OK), 10/28/13
UNM to compete in debt competition, The Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM), 10/21/13