Press Release

Innovative next-gen campaign raises awareness among college students, policymakers about the impact of U.S. fiscal and economic policy issues on their future

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Students from Baruch College in New York are this year’s winners of the Up to Us Campus Competition, recognized for their campaign to raise awareness and engagement on America’s fiscal and economic future. Baruch’s student team won the ninth annual Campus Competition held by Up to Us, a national, non-partisan initiative focused on building a stronger economy and a sustainable fiscal outlook.

Baruch’s team leaders will receive a $10,000 cash prize and be recognized during virtual events for their efforts alongside students from other top teams. Other guests will include speakers such as Kat Cole, former CEO and President of North America Focus Brands.

“As our nation continues to battle the health and economic effects of the pandemic, these outstanding young leaders from the Up to Us program are showing us how bright the future can be,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an Up to Us founding partner. “Through their innovative engagement campaign, the winning Baruch team connected with both peers and policymakers to ensure that their critical voices are part of the debate about America’s fiscal and economic future.”

The Baruch team, led by Nayancie Matthews, ‘22, built a campaign to drive fiscal change and address the policy priorities of their fellow studentsand New York City. Teammates engaged city and local officials, including establishing a partnership with the New York City Comptroller to discuss the city’s budgeting and debt challenges. They generated over 5,000 interactions during the fall 2020 semester through targeted events, classroom presentations, campus partnerships and creative social media content. The team created an opportunity pipeline for two students to work with local city officials. Additionally, the Baruch Debate Team provided student participants with an opportunity to discuss policy issues and receive live fact checks and feedback from city officials.

“The Up to Us competition presented an important opportunity for our team to serve as a driving force for change,” said Matthews. “Through Up to Us, we expanded our knowledge on the economy, developed new skills, and produced thoughtful conversations around our nation’s economic hurdles.”

The finalists and winner of the 2020-2021 Campus Competition were chosen by independent judges based on their ability to engage their peers, use of creative strategies, earned and social media efforts, and overall impact of their campaigns.

In addition to Baruch, the top 20 finalists, all of which executed campaigns during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021semester, include:

  • Central Texas College
  • Earlham College
  • Florida International University
  • Howard University
  • Independence Community College
  • Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus (Fall 2020)
  • Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus (Spring 2021)
  • Mount Mary University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oakland Community College
  • Stony Brook University
  • SUNY College at Old Westbury
  • University of Delaware
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Florida
  • University of Miami
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  • Wayne State University
  • West Liberty University

In collaboration with one of the program's founding partners, The Clinton Global Initiative University, the top 20 Up to Us teams will be awarded with an exclusive invitation to launch their career at the Up to Us Mentorship Summit. Top 20 team participants will be paired with mentors in an industry of their choice, spanning business & entrepreneurship, public policy, economics and finance, marketing, public relations and other STEM-related fields.

"With the economy slowly rebounding after the pandemic, mentorship is one of the most powerful forces we can deliver to young people today,” Hilary Allen, Up to Us competition program manager said. “We’re grateful to our partners for their continued support of the campus competition and the goal to provide rising generations with the opportunity to learn about policy issues, good governance, and how to be effective advocates for their own future.”

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 non-partisan 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’ve engaged and empowered more than 470,000 of their peers towards 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:

Kate Johnson,