Entering its fifth year, the O2 Conference has launched the inspiring ideas of 21 groups of students by pairing them with incredible mentors and $44,000!
O2 in 5 minutes
O2 in 1 minute
What is the O2 Conference?
O2 is a platform for middle and high school students to present their ideas for meeting a wide-range of needs in the Columbus community. People of all ages buy tickets to attend the event and hear from the presenters. Each year, O2 awards $10,000 and ongoing mentoring so students can launch ideas that breathe life into Columbus.
How it Works
STEP 1 - APPLICATION
Here's the process for applying to the 2022 conference. Young people in grades 6-12 develop an idea and submit their application. Teams typically fall into these two age groups but any combination of grades is welcome.
Middle School (6-8th Grade)
High School (9-12th Grade)
Individuals or teams can begin the online application starting on November 18, 2021. For more details on the commitment and expectations, download the information packet.
If you began an application but missed the deadline please contact the O2 Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP 2 - O2 CONFERENCE
Friends and community members take their seats on Sunday, March 6 and countdown to the inspiring O2 Conference. The presenters share their ideas. The excitement builds as each group interacts with our tremendous Panel of Mentors in front of hundreds of engaged listeners both in-person and online.
After the presentations are complete, the Panel will take time to deliberate. Each of the panelists will give their input on how to allocate a total of $10,000 to the presenters. Finally, the panelists will choose one of the groups to serve as a mentor to their winning idea. The exciting conclusion to the evening includes an Audience Award alongside the mentoring and financial awards. The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air.
STEP 3 - Mentorship and Project Launch
After the conference, the groups and their mentors will work together for six months developing their idea. This is one of the exciting elements that sets this event apart.
Would you like to attend?
The O2 Conference is an event where the audience participates! Come listen to ideas, support young people, and vote for the ideas you want to see launched. Be inspired by how much middle and high school students care about their city. Share your thoughts on what you believe are the needs of our community.
The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air. Your attendance let's you play a part in advancing these ideas. There are a limited number of in-person tickets available. Click below to register. We do not have an online streaming option for this year's event.
Financial support is always welcome. Together we can turn incredible ideas into reality across our city! All donations are tax-deductible. If you're interested in donating to the O2 Conference, you can give by using the form below.
Middle School Application
(6th - 8th Grade)
High School Application
(9th - 12th Grade)
Applications closed for 2022
Why does UALC host the O2 Conference?
There are thousands of us who call Upper Arlington Lutheran Church home. We are passionate about following Jesus Christ and living out our faith goes hand in hand with serving others in his name. At the end of the day, we are grateful for God’s love and respond. So, the O2 Conference is an authentic expression of our faith where we listen and then respond to the needs of our community. Through innovation and relationships, we creatively share our love of God and our neighbors (Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 25:35-36).
Investing in young people and their families is a significant part of our history. No matter their age, we see students as capable difference-makers. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life to engage in this effort to love our city. We are inspired by God's great love for people so we won't be shy about caring for you. Anyone, from any background can participate so you don't have to share our motivation, just the common vision to see our city thrive. Getting to know you would be a great privilege!
The O2 Conference is held at UALC’s Mill Run Campus at 3500 Mill Run Drive in Hilliard. All the funding for the event and the financial awards is provided by the people of UALC because we want to glorify God as young people discover their talents, build relationships, and help Cbus thrive.
The O2 Team
A giant thank you to all the volunteers and the team that works tirelessly to make this event a reality. A special thank you to Tim Krock, Elizabeth Weller, David White, Claire Geistfeld, Katie Overmyer, Selah White, James Nippa, and G&P Productions. Sometimes they work so hard they even miss the group photo.