Community Foundation Tampa Bay awards ten grants to encourage Economic Mobility opportunities

2022 competitive grants cycle provided more than $1 million to 46 local nonprofits

Tampa, Fla.(October 3, 2022) — The Community Foundation Tampa Bay awarded $184,600 to ten local nonprofit projects designed to encourage education beyond high school, foster career-readiness training, and provide opportunities for apprenticeships and on-the-job training. These grants are part of the Community Foundation Tampa Bay’s 2022 competitive grant cycle, which awarded over $1 million to fund 47 projects through 46 area nonprofits.

Economic Mobility is one of five targeted focus areas for the Community Foundation Tampa Bay’s 2022 competitive grant cycle. Under this targeted focus area, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay funded projects that fosters skills that are necessary in today’s economic environment. Funded projects may include programs that provide vocational training, navigation points through complex application and financial aid processes, and opportunities for neurodiverse and economically disadvantaged populations

“Investing in students, particularly economically disadvantaged students and neurodiverse communities, is an investment in bettering the lives of those that face an uphill challenge in today’s complex and highly skilled workforce,” said Marlene Spalten, President and CEO of the Community Foundation Tampa Bay. “These nonprofits are creating education opportunities that lift individuals and support our growing region.”

The ten organizations receiving grants for projects under the Economic Mobility Targeted Focus area are:

  • Academy Prep Foundation, Inc. was awarded $25,000 for its Graduate Support Services program, which provides low-income students with support and resources they need to overcome challenges and obstacles that may prevent them from enrolling in and graduating from college. Many students receiving support from this project are first generation college students.
  • AMIkids Tampa received $40,000 for the AMIkids Tampa Culinary Training Program which provides vocational training services to young, at-risk 16-24-year-olds through culinary skills training, industry-recognized food safety certifications, and job placement in the food service industry.
  • Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. was granted $14,600 for the Step Up for Success – Pre-College Experience. With this program, students in 9th-11th grade from farm-working families receive opportunities to explore possible post-secondary academic and professional pathways.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties received $25,000 for Expanding Access to Affordable Homeownerships to support the implementation of a custom and innovative software solution. This software will transform the homeowner application process for Habitat’s zero-interest mortgage program, significantly reducing wait times and bringing it into the 21st century.
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was funded $10,000 for their Combating Elderly Fraud and Exploitation in Hillsborough County education program that raises awareness, educates, and empowers the elderly community of Sun City Center, Florida against elderly fraud and exploitation.
  • Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay was awarded $25,000 for supporting equitable education through Junior Achievement’s 3DE High School at St. Petersburg’s Gibbs High School. The program is designed to strengthen and enrich the lives of our neighbors and the communities where we live and work. The 3DE model addresses structural inequities in education.
  • LiFT Inc, (Learning Independence For Tomorrow) was granted $10,000 for the LiFT Microbusiness Expansion, a program providing exceptional and equal opportunities in employment and hands-on job training for neurodiverse adult students. LiFT created its Microbusiness Program to provide students with real-world vocational experiences with the support of LiFT job coaches in a controlled environment tailored for individual success.
  • MacDonald Training Center received $15,000 Career Readiness Training for Neurodiverse Adults through its eMerge Project that surmounts barriers to employment for people with disabilities, preparing job seekers for career success. eMerge offers transformational, certificate-based job training aligned with employment opportunities in four high-growth sectors of the economy: technology, manufacturing, and healthcare and hospitality.
  • Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation, Inc. was awarded $10,000 for the Pasco-Hernando State College – Inspiring Brighter Futures for Underprivileged Youth Through Pre-Collegiate Mentoring and College Readiness program. The program mentors economically disadvantaged youth in grades 6-12 through curriculum from the College Reach Out Program, Centers of Excellence, and National Achiever’s Society.
  • Virtual Enterprises International was granted $10,000 for the Educating for the Social, Emotional and Economic Well-Being of Today’s Tampa Bay Area Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce program. With the program, classrooms are transformed into simulated businesses to help economically disadvantaged students learn business education, financial literacy and technological literacy. Students run start-up companies that simulate the functions and demands of real-world businesses in a global economy of over 7,000 student-run businesses.

“Education opens doors and changes lives, and we’re proud to support the local nonprofits who are creating opportunities for education and economic mobility,” said Jesse Coraggio, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Community Impact at Community Foundation Tampa Bay.

The funds are part of this year’s competitive grant cycle, which provided $1,041,646 to 46 local nonprofits, a record number. Nonprofits selected for grants focus on five targeted areas—community vibrancy, economic mobility, empowering women and girls, mental well-being, and positive education.

To learn more about the competitive grant process and how to apply visit here.

About the Community Foundation Tampa Bay

Founded in 1990, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region. For more than 30 years, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy and meaningful for donors as a way to strengthen nonprofit organizations and build a better, more vibrant community. Since its inception, its donors have enabled the Community Foundation Tampa Bay to award more than $354 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the country.

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