Microsoft has announced its second annual “You Can Make a Difference” scholarship program, which challenges secondary-school students around the world to design technology-based projects to benefit charitable organizations. This year’s program is open to students worldwide. Additionally, this year students can submit their proposals in 15 different languages on localized versions of theSpoke, Microsoft’s online community for technology students. The program will award a total of $50,000 in grants to 10 students–five male and five female–who create the best proposal for a software project designed to benefit a charitable organization. Winners will receive a personal scholarship of $2,500, as well as a budget of up to $1,500 to implement their proposed project. A $1,000 technology grant also will be awarded to each winning student’s school. In addition, the 10 finalists will be paired with a mentor from Microsoft to help them implement their project. Each student who submits a proposal will receive a free copy of Microsoft’s award-winning Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic development tool. The deadline for proposals is April 30, 2005. Winners will be announced in late May.

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