The winners are in for Project Innovation, the national grant program from the NBCUniversal Foundation that seeks to deploy $2.4 million to nonprofits working to connect communities with technology.
Local TV outlets NBC10 and Telemundo62 announced Wednesday the six nonprofits that will be awarded a total of $225,000 in funds for projects that range from coding camps to robotics workshops for girls.
Here’s the list of winning organizations and what they’re looking to accomplish:
- Hopeworks ‘N Camden, Recode Your Future ($55,000): A program that connects young adults with careers in technology and web development. The program helps participants gain permanent employment in high-paying tech jobs and looks to contribute to building a diverse workforce pipeline for jobs in technology fields.
- Live Connections, What’s Going On ($25,000): A yearlong songwriting and music technology residency at Hill-Freedman World Academy. Weekly sessions engage the entire 10th- and 11th-grade classes in creating original compositions inspired by Motown, and the project will culminate in an album of student-created music and a performance showcase.
- String Theory Schools, Particle Accelerator ($50,000): The program enables high-school students to work alongside Philly startups on design projects. Students work under the guidance of professionals to develop logos/branding/marketing, prototyping and advanced manufacturing, web/app design, TV/video production, and social media.
- Support Center for Child Advocates, Digital Lockers for Older Foster Youth ($33,420): A way to let older foster youth keep important documents through electronic personal records
- Tech Impact, ITWorks ($50,000): A program to bring disadvantaged/disenfranchised young adults start their careers in IT and help entry-level IT workers advance in their careers.
- YWCA of Bucks County, TechGYRLS ($11,580): An after-school program for low-income youth that provides a girls-only environment where upper-elementary and middle-school-aged girls get an introduction to the world of robotics and learn to create computer programs that control the behavior of robots.
For youth development organization Hopeworks ‘N Camden, the dollars to help run the program are great to have, but there’s also value in the recognition from a brand name like NBC10.
“To have their name select us as part of a group means a lot for young people from Camden who have not had the experience of having folks be excited by their accomplishment,” said Dan Rhoton, founder of the Camden, N.J.-based nonprofit.
The Recode Your Future project, Rhoton said, adds an extra layer of value to traditional tech education programs by adding financial coaching and mentoring so that entry level technologists can not only get a job in tech but hang onto it in the long run.
“That will help build a diverse pipeline of talent in tech,” Rhoton said. “This is what takes the project from traditional STEM education to something that will transform families.”
“We are thrilled to recognize the work of six local non-profit organizations through Project Innovation,” Ric Harris, the president and general manager of NBC10 and Telemundo62, said in a statement. “The Project Innovation grant program allows us to help these groups further their mission by contributing to the ground-breaking work they are doing in our local communities.”
The grant challenge program will deploy grants in 11 markets where NBC-owned stations are located.-30-
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