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Constanza Maass: Co-Founder of Cuppa Change

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Name: Constanza Maass
Program: Honours BSc with Specialization in Biology
Year of Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Thornhill, ON

Her Campus uOttawa: What exactly is Cuppa Change?
Constanza Maass: Cuppa Change is a registered non-profit organization which is 100% run by student volunteers. We focus our efforts on sustainability and the recycling of excess commodities through community involvement. Our premise is to give agency to youth to make a difference in their community. We want to empower them to create positive changes!

Our first initiative is called “Roll up for Change.” We are collecting winning rims from Tim Hortons’ Roll up the Rim contest. We got permission from the Office of Campus Sustainability (they were extremely helpful and easy to work with) to set up donation boxes and posters on their recycling containers around campus. We partnered up with Shepherds of Good Hope, the organization that we are donating the rims that we collect to. The main objective of this project goes beyond a free cup of coffee; it provides an incentive for marginalized individuals to enter a safe environment within the Shepherds of Good Hope community, bringing them one step closer to receiving help from professionals who are trained to give it.

We believe our initiative is great, especially for students, because there is no direct cost when you donate your rims. Having lived in Ottawa for several years, those of us at Cuppa Change feel as though we are part of this community and want to give back to the city that has become our home. Being a student in university, it is often difficult for us to donate due to our expensive investment towards our education; however, we are always drinking coffee! This Roll up for Change initiative allows students to easily give back by donating their winning rims. We have already collected over 100 rims!

HCuO: How did you get involved with Cuppa Change and why?
CM: Cuppa Change is an organization that my friends and I started very recently. We’re all very excited about how successful it has been so far! We’ve been incorporated with the federal government since October, and publicly launched our efforts with the start of Roll up for Change in February. We began advertising through social media using Instagram (@cuppachange) as our primary basis to reach out to the Ottawa community and bring awareness to our cause. Since then, we have seen tremendous progress throughout our project.

HCuO: How has joining Cuppa Changing changed your life?
CM: We have always been taught about the importance of sustainability; however, as youth, we have found it quite difficult to make a positive impact. Cuppa Change is so important because it has given us the opportunity to start making these positive changes that we have always wanted to see in my community. I am also passionate about Cuppa Change because of the people that I get to work with. They are an incredible group who and have been continually inspiring, teaching, and pushing each other.

HCuO:  How can students help the cause?
CM: You can also support us on April1st 2017 by attending our pub night! We’re going to be raising funds for Cuppa Change at Patty Boland’s and we’re selling tickets for $5. All of the proceeds will go towards our different initiatives! Of course, please donate your rims; it would be so appreciated. 

HCuO: What other projects does Cuppa Change have in the works?
CM: We have many other projects that we are working hard on! We recently partnered up with Palooza, the world’s biggest beer pong tournament. For this project, we will be ensuring that this is an eco-friendly event. We are going to find cups and balls for them to use that will have less negative impact on the environment than the regular equipment that is used. We are always open to suggestions to new initiatives or ideas that any students have. Please feel free to contact us and propose your ideas!

HCuO: Where do you see Cuppa Change in 10 years?
CM: We hope to have become a well-established charity within that time. We want to make Roll up for Change a yearly event that spreads all over Canada and we want to have other initiatives running to educate youth on sustainability and the recycling of excess commodities. Finally, it’s our dream to organize a leadership conference where we will help young leaders make their ideas for change a reality.

If you want to be apart of the team or if you have ideas that Cuppa Change can do, send them an email here

If you want to be updated about anything that Cuppa Change will do, follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook


Sources: Pictures were provided by Constanza Maass. 

Gloria Charles-Pierre is Her Campus uOttawa Alumni. She was one of our writers for four years and the French editor for two years. Gloria graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Arts specialized in French Lierature and two certificates in LSQ (Langue des Signes Québécoise). Now, she is in Teachers College and loving it. Gloria spends her time doing kick-boxing and working on her personnal writing project while growing in her faith. She hopes to travel more, and to continue her studies with a Masters in Education and also continue working in editing.