In partnership with the NBCUniversal Foundation, NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago have announced the 2015 recipients of the 21st Century Solutions grant.
Three Chicago non-profits have won a total of $100,000. The NBCUniversal Foundation also awards the grant to organizations in 10 other cities across the United States served by NBC-owned stations, totaling to a combined $1.2 million in grants.
To be eligible, applicants must fall under at least one of the primary categories including civic engagement, education, environment, jobs and economic empowerment, media arts, and technology.
NBC Chicago will air a check presentation during the 11:00 a.m. newscast on Dec. 11.
This year’s Chicago winners are listed below:
Bethel New Life, Innovation Center ($50,000): Bethel New Life has partnered with several tech organizations like Blue 1647 and UI Labs to build a creative space on Chicago’s West Side.
The Innovation Center offers several services including job training in software development and coding, computer hardware and networking, and advanced manufacturing; tech business start-up including full business support, access to start-up capital and venture capital dollars, mentorship, and a ready workforce; and “Maker Space Drop In Club” where a community member with a good idea can access computers, 3-D printers, and basic manufacturing technology to bring their idea to life. The Maker Space Drop in Club is the first and only such center of its kind on the West Side and in disadvantaged communities in Chicago.
Common Threads, CommonBytes ($25,000): Common Threads is currently developing a state-of-the-art technology application, called CommonBytes, to share the information and knowledge pertaining to nutrition and overall physical health.
Through hands-on cooking and nutrition education programs, and soon through a digital learning platform, Common Threads offers a preventative health program solution to students in communities that can help prevent obesity while empowering children and families to cook and eat healthy.
The group partners with schools and community organizations in areas where at least 80% of kids participate in the Federal free/reduced school lunch programs. Through in-school and after-school programs and curricula, participants learn, practice, and adopt the skills and knowledge they need to make healthy choices in the kitchen, which leads to increased vegetable intake, cooking at home more frequently, and increased confidence among students.
Women's Business Development Center, Latina Entrepreneurial Accelerated Development (LEAD) Program ($25,000): The WBDC is an economic development organization that assists women, minorities, and veterans to start and grow, sustainable, profitable small businesses that create jobs, fuel economic growth, and build strong communities.
The LEAD Program is an intensive advanced business development and leadership training program for Latina established business owners.
The most compelling and innovative aspect is taking customized capacity building programming and added leadership and volunteer components to help Latina businesswomen better operate their businesses, become community leaders and help shape public policy.