But the contest, which began in October 2006, has already produced an impressive legacy. It has shaped careers, spawned at least one start-up company and inspired research papers. It has also changed conventional wisdom about the best way to build the automated systems that increasingly help people make online choices about movies, books, clothing, restaurants, news and other goods and services.

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These girls now have the tools to create lasting change, starting with their families and then transforming entire communities and beyond. When [Centre for Development and Population Activities] gives women training and support, [they] give them the power to cause change around the world.

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Last month, Habitat for Humanity East Bay announced the launch of our new Neighborhood Stabilization Program after being awarded $1.5 million in funding to acquire foreclosed homes in partnership with Contra Costa County.

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