The next generation of thought leaders are well on their way to creating measurable change. From global impact projects to equitable development initiatives, young people are a driving force for innovation. American fast food chain, Taco Bell is looking to tap into that genius, launching the Ambition Accelerator. The program is powered in partnership with changemaking organization Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs and funded by Yum! Brand’s Unlocking Opportunity Initiative.

“Taco Bell knows that the next game-changing idea to make a difference is out there, and big ideas are needed now more than ever,” says a spokesperson. “That’s why Taco Bell is looking for young people with an idea for change to apply to the Taco Bell Foundation’s new Ambition Accelerator program.” 

Applicants are encouraged to submit ideas for a chance to receive funding for them and be invited to a summit at Taco Bell’s Headquarters. The opportunity will connect these change agents to the resources they need to bring their big ideas to life. Those chosen will get the chance to receive feedback on their ideas, learn new tools for creating social impact, and network with other youth applicants. 

Taco Bell has opened applications up to anyone 16-26 from the U.S. and all U.S. territories with an idea or existing project to solve an issue facing their community. The company assures that no problem is too small or large as long as it addresses a problem they see. Ideas could include ways to mitigate climate change, advocate for social justice or build a more equitable and inclusive society. Applications can be based on anything from just an initial concept to a fully realized endeavor.

The top 25 teams of two will receive additional funding and be invited to participate in the Ambition Accelerator Summit, to be hosted November 3, 2022 –  November 6, 2022 at Taco Bell Headquarters. The top five teams will pitch their ideas for the chance to win $25,000 in prize funding. Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has worked to break down barriers to educate and inspire the next generation of America’s leaders. Over the last 30 years it has reached more than 4 million young people across the country and has awarded more than $110 million in scholarships and grants to youth-serving nonprofit organizations focused on education and career readiness. The company sees the Ambition Accelerator as another way to tap into the young people who will ultimately be the leaders of tomorrow. The deadline to apply to the program is Thursday, July 21, 2022.