Press Release

Students from New York’s Stony Brook University Win Top Prize for 11th Annual Up to Us Competition 

Next-Gen Leaders Work to Shape Future of U.S. Fiscal and Economic Policy

[February 14, 2023 - California] – With the national debt surpassing $31 trillion, the next generation of American leaders is making its voice heard. On college campuses across the country, students have led innovative peer-to-peer campaigns as part of the annual Up to Us competition, raising awareness of our nation’s fiscal challenges and advocating for solutions. Stony Brook University took home this year’s top prize for their engaging campaign, which fueled a campus-wide discussion around the national debt and its connection to their economic future. 

Founded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in 2012, in partnership with Net Impact and the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), Up to Us is a nonpartisan initiative that provides young civic leaders with the resources and training needed to advocate for a more prosperous and sustainable fiscal future.

“Congratulations to the members of Stony Brook’s innovative campaign team and all the other young participants across the country who added their energy and ideas to improve their fiscal future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “The long-term burden of America’s $31 trillion national debt is an economic justice issue for the next generation, and we need their powerful voices in this debate. The growing chorus of concern and engagement from young leaders can help reverse our current path, and build a sustainable and inclusive economy in the decades ahead.”

The Stony Brook team’s winning campaign included a range of events focusing on key fiscal and economic policy issues around midterm elections in November. The team organized classroom presentations, partnered with dozens of campus groups, and held events at which students submitted letters to their U.S. Senators – urging them to address the national debt. In addition, the Stony Brook team’s social media campaign engaged and educated thousands of voters with important fiscal facts and creative themes such as “The Debt Ceiling Tuesday”, “Wealth Wednesday”, and “Fiscal Friday.”

“The national debt has such a long-term impact on my generation, but many of my peers had no idea until we engaged them through our campaign,” said Stony Brook team leader Anastasia Poulos. “By having conversations and reaching out to our peers, we can be a part of the solution and send a message to America’s leaders that we need to fix this for our economic future. I’m grateful that Up to Us gave me the opportunity to start that discussion on my campus, and I’m hopeful we can continue to move the needle.”

The top 10 finalists for the fall 2022 semester competition are:

  • Stony Brook University
  • Wayne State University
  • Howard University
  • Florida International University
  • Central Texas College
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Mount Mary University
  • St. Francis College
  • Jarvis Christian University
  • Babson College

To learn more about Up to Us and about how to get involved in the movement, visit




About Up to Us

Up to Us is a nonpartisan movement of a generation, for a generation that lets policymakers know that young Americans are committed to addressing the nation's fiscal challenges. Since 2012, Up to Us has created a groundswell of student leaders who have engaged and empowered more than 500,000 of their peers toward a more prosperous fiscal future. Created in partnership with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact, Up to Us provides the opportunity for students to build a movement to raise awareness and engagement on America's fiscal challenges, and hosts an annual competition that takes place on college campuses nationwide.

Media Contact: Jessica Student,