News

Ten D.C.-area non-profits receive grants to support their social innovation efforts

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will provide funding for local organizations that offer innovative solutions to challenges faced by local Latin American and Caribbean communities

Ten non-profit organizations whose work focuses mainly on Latin American and Caribbean communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area have been selected to receive “Improving Lives” grants from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Each organization will receive up to $25,000 to support innovative projects aimed at community and education, youth and economic development, health and the arts. This year the winning organizations are:

  1. MOCO KIDSCO, Inc. d.b.a. KID Museum (Invention Studio for Latino Youth): Middle school students participate in 5 deep-dive sessions where they learn to build, code, and collaborate, and then they present their inventions at the annual challenge summit
  2. Community Bridges, Inc. (Community Bridges Girls Program): Support development of young women by engaging girls, families, schools and community (need to employ a culturally responsive and inter-generational approach focused on needs in our communities)—provides an integrated, holistic program for girls from elementary school through high school focusing on the whole girl by preparing them for college and career, advocacy in community, increase in self-confidence and self-esteem, healthy relationships with family, friends and peers and physical, social and emotional health
  3. Identity (Identity’s Alternative Spring Break): Changing Spring Break from a risky, unproductive time with little supervision to a positive time to build social/emotional/academic skills with opportunities for low-income Latino students to better themselves and their communities (engage at-risk students from high-poverty neighborhoods in Montgomery County in activities that are fun and purposeful while also strengthening their positive connection to school. Struggling elementary students will continue to build reading skills as they work towards achieving grade level proficiency. Middle and high schoolers will explore new interests, engage in new opportunities for self-expression and complete service learning projects)
  4. Nueva Vida (A Culturally Sensitive Initiative of Cancer Care for Latinos): Provide (1) culturally-competent educational outreach; (2) trained bilingual/bicultural outreach workers who work and live in the community; and (3) resources to ensure timely delivery of abnormal screening results and psychosocial support. NV complements these programs with culturally sensitive guidance (the moment a woman is contacted) and culturally competent psychological support (the moment she is diagnosed)
  5. Latino Student Fund (Academic Success—Multi-Generational Support): Works to reverse the downward trend of educational attainment for Hispanics by providing free, bilingual, year-round tutoring and adult education classes to PreK-12th grade students and their families
  6. La Cocina VA (Career Readiness and Job Placement): Through a 16-week bilingual culinary job training, vocational English instruction, job readiness, paid-internship, wraparound services and highly valued industry certifications by NOVA Community College and the National Restaurant Association La Cocina VA creates real job opportunities for low-income individuals
  7. Aspire! Afterschool Learning (Learning ROCKS!): Innovatively addresses the opportunity gap, providing continuity across the three main aspects of a child’s daily experience: at school; after school; and at home
  8. GALA Hispanic Theatre (Paso Nuevo—From the Streets to the Stage): Provide free, bilingual after-school theater education and mentorship to Latino and Afro-Latino teenagers from low-income DC communities, enhancing its curriculum to address concerns surrounding anti-immigrant discrimination and community safety, specifically gang activity (the curriculum will improve problem-solving and conflict resolution skills among students, providing tools to succeed in school, prevent violence in their communities, and promote safe spaces)
  9. Life Asset (Microloan and Financial Training Program for Low-Income Latino Entrepreneurs): Provide Latino entrepreneurs with low-barrier microloans, coupled with Spanish-language financial training and networking opportunities that help them become successful entrepreneurs and develop sustainable sources of income
  10. Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFÉ 2023: Metal, Music, Museum—Bridging the Cultural GAP): Will expand STEAM curriculum to include entrepreneurship and environment to strengthen academic skills through art and music (build entrepreneurial skills for students and parents, increasing earning capacity while expanding their reach by 10%, through partnership and; the expansion and implementation of a replicable curriculum that enables sustainable socio-economic development).

The grants are part of the IDB’s 20-year-old Community Relations Program, which is composed of four main areas: corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, in-kind donations and fundraising campaigns. In 2016, the Bank expanded the reach of its D.C.-focused grants program to include neighboring Virginia and Maryland and adjusted its focus to programs that use creative and innovative means to increase their impact. A pro-bono volunteering component was launched to increase engagement with the local community.

This year, the IDB received 51 applications for grants, including 31 from the District of Columbia, 12 from Maryland and 8 from Virginia.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.