Pandora, in partnership with Real Industry, today announced the launch of its Pandora Challenge: Music & Social Impact program at five universities across the United States. Participating students will use Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform and data from Next Big Sound to “harness the power of music and drive awareness for those battling cancer, students and musicians in underserved communities and LGBTQ equality,” according to a statement.

The program launched at the University of Southern California on Oct. 4, with more than 100 students participating and developing campaigns to support the launch of BloodPop’s “Made of Music” program. The next challenge kicks off at Middle Tennessee State University on Monday (Oct. 9). Participating students will create campaigns for Manchester Orchestra, which supports the 1 Million 4 Anna foundation, dedicated to fighting Ewing sarcoma.

Additional events will take place at New York University on Oct. 11 with rapper/actor Common; at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell on Oct. 21 with Jack Antonoff; and at the University Innovation Fellows summit at Stanford University on Nov. 19. At NYU, students in its Steinhardt Music Business program will develop campaigns to encourage wellness, mental health, and mindfulness in communities of color, while the student campaigns at UMass Lowell will support The Ally Coalition.

The program aims to connect underserved aspiring musicians and music professionals with mentors from within their local community; it will initially focus its efforts on the Los Angeles area, but aims to ultimately reach communities around the country. For more information, go to: https://realindustry.org/workshops/highlights.

“The Pandora Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to develop real-world artist marketing campaigns that support and drive awareness for important social causes,” said Jay LeBoeuf, founder and executive director at Real Industry.

“The energy and love of music the students possess is an incredibly powerful combination,” said Alex White, head of Next Big Sound at Pandora. “With help from our partners at Real Industry, we’re not only harnessing that combination for a good cause but also giving students experience and knowledge they can use to jumpstart their careers in the music industry.”