The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is teaming up with university students across the nation to develop and execute campaigns and social media strategies that fight against extremism, the New York Times reports.
Through the program Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism, each university team receives $2,000 to create a credible and authentic ad campaign that will have a considerable impact of their campus, community, and country to stop the recruitment of young people by terrorist groups like ISIS.
On Tuesday, the department awarded the first place winning prize of $5,000 to the students at the University of Maryland. Their project focused on helping others to identify signs of radicalization in young people and how to properly take action.
The student’s campaign, “It Takes Just One,” revolves around the idea that it only takes one person to guide someone away from radical ideologies. They focus on white supremacist groups and gangs like MS-13.
“Who better to push back against the prejudice, bigotry and hate online than students?” said Tony Sgro, the president of EdVenture Partners, the company that created the program, according to the New York Times.
Funding young people’s projects helps look at issues in a new light and may relate to their young people who might fall victim to terrorists’ influence.
The government has taken large strides against combating online extremism since terrorist groups have been recently utilizing the internet to advertise themselves and gain recruits.