Our Grantees in the News 2017-10-05T17:52:00+00:00

Our Grantees in the News



Molly Beth Rice featured in Journal Star

Journal StarCommunity garden sows the seeds of peace in Peoria, June 2017

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” Recently, Molly Rice’s backyard has become the site of a lot of dirt dumping, watermelon planting and tie-dying parties. She and her family are starting a community garden at 1116 and 1118 NE Glendale Ave., and they’ve invited the whole neighborhood to help. Rice said the inspiration to start a garden came after the house next door became the site of two drive-by shootings and arson in June 2016. “They got in a gang fight with the wrong gang for this neighborhood,” Rice said of the house’s previous owner. “I got all the kids up and had them sleep on the floor (the night of the shootings).” After that, Rice’s daughter wanted to make a “peace garden” to bring some happiness back to the North Valley. The Rice family decided to acquire the lot that was the site of the shootings and the arson, as well as two more lots, and has since planted a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers.”

Read the whole article, Community garden sows the seeds of peace in Peoria, here.

Learn more about Molly Beth Rice’s project, Good Soil for the Peoria North End Urban Garden, here.

Priscilla Umutashya Ruzibuka featured in The Afrikan Legacy


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“Priscilla  Ruzibuka is the 26 year old Rwandan Information Systems Engineer behind the children’s clothing brand Ki-pepeo. This young entrepreneur decided to leave her job in the private sector to start her own business. With the Ki-pepo brand,  she is transforming and empowering women in Rwanda by giving them a place to grow, earn and support their families while making kids look fabulous.

Read the article, Meet… PRISCILLA RUZIBUKA, here.

Learn more about Priscilla Umutashya Ruzibuka’s project, Ki-pepeo kids clothing, here.

Steve Barr featured in Philanthropy Journal News

Philanthropy_Journal_logoUsing Art and Humor to Heal, June 2017

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” Pediatric patients often feel overwhelmed by the strict daily regimens they go through as they battle challenging medical conditions. This can result in these children feeling they have no control over their circumstances and very little joy in their day to day life. Drawn to Help, a national nonprofit based out of Columbus, North Carolina, was created to give these children a feeling of more control and help them find a creative escape from their daily battles, allowing them to laugh and heal along the way. A few years ago, cartoonist Steve Barr was devastated when a close friend’s son was diagnosed with Leukemia. Throughout her son’s treatment, the friend saw the impact art programs had on children in treatment facilities. She suggested that Barr develop similar programs, sharing his love of cartooning with children in hospitals. Steve began Drawn to Help after a few visits to local hospitals. Through word-of-mouth, the cartoon drawing classes spread rapidly. Within the first two years, the program reached multiple hospitals and camps for children fighting challenging diseases. The organization’s volunteers now include such comic and comic book artists as: Al Bigley (DC/Marvel), Tom Bancroft (Disney), Guy Gilchrist (“Nancy,” “The Muppets,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Greg Cravens (Creator of “The Buckets” comic strip).”

Read the whole article, Using Art and Humor to Heal, here.

Learn more about Steve Barr’s project, Cartoon Classes for pediatric patients, here.

Umra Omar featured in Rural Reporters, Nigeria

Safari Doctors: No Saviour Mentality, June 2017

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“Umra Omar is the founder of Safari Doctors, an organisation amplifying an innovative healthcare model in underserved and hard-to-reach rural communities in Kenya. Lamu is a remote rural in the eastern coast of Kenya. The archipelago landscapes of the area make accessibility an expensive venture. A boat trip from one end of Lamu to another cost as much as $300, making easy access to healthcare and other social amenities sometimes unrealistic.

Read the article, Safari Doctors: No Saviour Mentality, here.

Learn more about Umra Omar’s project, Safari Doctors, here.

Doniece Sandoval featured on CNN

CNN logoWhere the homeless can board a bus to take a warm shower, June 2017

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” Five years ago, Doniece Sandoval gained a new perspective on San Francisco’s immense problem of homelessness. It happened in her own neighborhood. “There were three elderly gentlemen, all in their 80s, who we watched, one by one, get evicted,” she said. “They began to live in their cars, had their cars repossessed, and ended up on the street.” As the Bay Area bounced back from the economic recession, Sandoval saw rents skyrocket. Diverse areas in and around San Francisco became gentrified, trendy — and pricey. And as tech companies and other businesses moved in, lower-income residents were forced out. Sandoval saw more and more people living and sleeping on the streets. And all of them, she said, were struggling with hygiene. When she learned there were fewer than 20 shower stalls and toilets for thousands of homeless individuals, she was shocked.”

Read the whole article, Where the homeless can board a bus to take a warm shower, here.

Learn more about Doniece Sandoval’s project, Lava Mae, here.

Dejah Powell featured in DNAINFO.COM

Vanderpoel Elementary Alum Returns To Install Community Garden, May 2017

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“Dejah Powell returned to John Vanderpoel Humanities Academy Friday to build a community garden alongside students at her elementary school alma mater. Some 50 students filled planter boxes with wood chips and soil, planted seedlings and created a community gathering place at the school at 9510 S. Prospect Ave. in Beverly. Powell, a Hyde Park resident, secured the funding for the project. She landed several grants to pay for the $8,000 garden on the southeast corner of the campus. The funding also includes classes to teach students about urban gardening. 

Read the whole article, Vanderpoel Elementary Alum Returns To Install Community Garden here.

Learn more about Dejah Powell’s project, Get Them to the Green, here.

Thell Robinson III featured on NBC4

A Thug is a Dud: Linden non-profit hopes to guide at-risk youth, May 2017

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“Summer is just around the corner, does that mean violence is also on the way? A non-profit organization called “A Thug Is A Dud (A.T.I.A.D.)” is working to keep at-risk youth on the right path. On Thursday, they held a non-violence community event in Linden. “It’s not about dying at an early age,” said Thell Robinson, founder of A.T.I.A.D. “The parents are burying the kids, when the kids are supposed to be burying their parents.” Robinson’s goal is to end violence in Columbus communities. “The murder rate right now is way above normal,”  he said. “Instead of turning up for Memorial Day Weekend, we’re trying to get them to turn down.” This is just one event that his organization holds throughout the year in different neighborhoods.

Read the article, A Thug is a Dud: Linden non-profit hopes to guide at-risk youth, here.

Learn more about Thell Robinson III’s project, Violence And Mediation, here.

Thomas Ponce featured in Daily Good

Daily GoodThomas Ponce: On Behalf of All Living Beings, May 2017

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” Thomas Ponce is a 16-year-old animal rights advocate and a citizen lobbyist from Casselberry, Florida. He is the founder of Lobby For Animals, the Coordinator for Fin Free FL, and founder of Harley’s Home, which is used as his school-based animal rights club. A vegetarian at age of 4, he began writing about animal rights at the age of 5. Soon after, Thomas’s parents realized that his advocacy for animals was not a phase, but a way of life. “I feel that it is our responsibility as both citizens and human beings to use our minds, hearts and voices to speak up against the injustices we see in the world,” explains Thomas. What follows is an edited version of an Awakin Call interview with Thomas. You can read or listen to the full version of the interview here. At the time of this interview Thomas was 14-years-old.”

Read the whole article, Thomas Ponce: On Behalf of All Living Beings, here.

Learn more about Thomas Ponce’s project, Lobby for Animals, here.

Cianne Tima Jones featured in We News

Teen to Headmaster: Girls Need Their Own Textbooks, May 2017

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“When I was 11 years old, my school days were hard like rocks because even if it rained cats and dogs I had to leave very early for school to be there for 7 a.m. Hunger and canes were my daily friends. We were hit with sticks for many different reasons: for being late, for not wearing the right socks, for dirty uniforms, for not finishing work. When we came late, we were told by our beloved teachers that “latecomers eat bones.” We were also hit for not putting on the proper school uniform at the school campus. Our teachers used to tell us that “You are caned because we want you to improve your academic performance.” I also had to run barefoot the 20 kilometers (more the 12 miles) to and from school since my parents are poor like church mice and couldn’t afford shoes. This isn’t unusual in Uganda.”

Read the article, Teen to Headmaster: Girls Need Their Own Textbooks, here.

Learn more about Cianne Tima Jones’s project, Teen Voices Uganda!, here.

Kantimahanti Murthy featured in The Times of India

The Times of IndiaI aim to conserve wildlife of the Eastern Ghats: Kantimahanti Murthy, May 2017

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” VISAKHAPATNAM: At a time when there’s an urgent need to conserve the environment and biodiversity from becoming extinct due to undue human intervention, a young wildlife conservationist from Vizag is tirelessly working towards conservation and protection of endangered wildlife in the Eastern Ghats through a community-based approach. He has also designed wildlife interpretation centres in several sanctuaries, zoos and national parks.”

Read the whole article, I aim to conserve wildlife of the Eastern Ghats: Kantimahanti Murthy, here.

Learn more about Kantimahanti Murthy’s project, Community-based Conservation of King Cobras in Eastern Ghats of South India, here.

Samuel Riguarda featured in Food Tank

Foodtank logo20 Leaders Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future of Our Food System, May 2017

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“At Food Tank, we are constantly amazed by the variety of ideas, initiatives, businesses, and research put forth by talented individuals making waves in the food and agriculture sectors. They come from varying backgrounds, regions, and perspectives, and represent a wide range of ages. Our present food system has been shaped by the combined efforts of both the innovative food leaders that have come before us and those that stand beside us, making the prospects of its future exciting and inextricably linked to our current efforts and the efforts of the generation of leaders yet to come. No matter their age, we appreciate and are inspired by those individuals working towards creating a better food system for all. To highlight the work of some of the younger leaders out there, here are 20 emerging and established changemakers under 40 years old, who are already shaping the future of our global and local food systems.

Read the article, 20 Leaders Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future of Our Food System, here.

Learn more about Samuel Rigu’s project, Safi Organics, here.

Trish Schappell featured in Click2Huoston

Reading rooms provide kids with new opportunities, May 2017

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” This is the story of The Kids Reading Room. It’s a magical place filled with books for some of our area’s kids who need them the most. The hero of our story is Trish Schappell.  By day she is a middle school counselor in Spring-Branch Independent School District, but when school ends she become a Kids Reading Room volunteer,  executive director, and founder.  “This is what I feel I was put here for,” Trish Schappell said.  She started the program 3 1/2 years ago after hearing some troubling news. “Children are not graduating, kids have difficulty reading, literacy may not be the most important thing at home because their parents are working full time,” Schappell said.  “I decided just to go to an apartment community and see if I could create a library.” It proved to be a success. Soon after she had five locations and kids like Denzel Garcia started coming in.”

Read the whole article, Reading rooms provide kids with new opportunities, here.

Learn more about Trish Schappell’s project, The Kids’ Reading Room, here.

Lindy Wafula featured in African leadership Magazine, Nigeria

Celd Fetes Outstanding African Women in Durban, May 2017

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“t was a celebration of Africa’s finest women achievers, as the continent’s women of power and influence converged at the Coastlands Musgrave Hotel, Durban, South Africa on the evening of the 04th May 2017 for the annual African Women Leadership Summit 2017. Organized by the Centre for Economic & Leadership Development (CELD), in collaboration with the African Leadership Magazine Group, with support from the South-African based firm, Training Excellence led by the CEO Hawa Charfaray; the summit recognized some of the continent’s finest women who have over the years blazed the trail in accomplishments, through hard-work and resilience.

Read the whole article, Celd Fetes Outstanding African Women in Durban, here.

Learn more about Lindy Wafula’s project, Leading Ladies Club, here.

Mark Devries featured in Democracy Now

democracy_nowNorth Carolina Hog Farms Spray Manure Around Black Communities; Residents Fight Back, May 2017

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” In eastern North Carolina, residents are battling with one of the state’s largest industries: hog farms. Last week, North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 467, which limits the damages that residents could collect against hog farms. The billion-dollar industry is primarily clustered in the eastern part of the state, where hog farms collect billions of gallons of untreated pig feces and urine in what are essentially cesspools, then dispose of the waste by spraying it into the air. Residents living in the area of the spray complain of adverse health effects and odor so bad that it limits their ability to be outdoors. For more, we speak with Naeema Muhammad, organizing co-director for the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, and Will Hendrick, staff attorney with the Waterkeeper Alliance and manager of the organization’s North Carolina Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign.”

Read the whole article, North Carolina Hog Farms Spray Manure Around Black Communities; Residents Fight Back, here.

Learn more about Mark Devries’s project, Citizen Drone Project, here.

Amy Bramlet featured in The Sentinel Record

Hot Springs Middle and High School present spring benefit concert, April 2017

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“The Hot Springs Middle and High School Dance Program recently presented its spring benefit concert, Dance for Humanity, on April 13. With each dance, social issues such as racism, hate and violence were addressed while inspiring a world of peace, equality and light. The show included 150 HSMS/HSHS student dancers, 15 elementary workshop students in grades K-6, six HSMS dancing teachers, 20 iCan Dancers and their partners, the Little Rock Professional Company, 12 student crew members, and the 13 students of the Hot Springs Dance Troupe. “

Read the whole article, Hot Springs Middle and High School present spring benefit concert, here.

Learn more about Amy Bramlett’s project, HSMS and HSHS Dance Program, here.

Brian K. Broadway featured on ClickOrlando.com

Restored travel trailers provide sanctuary for homeless families with children, April 2017

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“Brian Broadway, the director of Find, Feed & Restore, is this week’s Getting Results Award winner.  Broadway and a team of volunteers restore donated travel trailers and turn them into temporary housing for homeless families with children. News 6 caught up with Broadway as he was cleaning and repairing a 30-foot Cherokee travel trailer at the Ridgecrest RV Resort in Leesburg. The trailer had a roof leak and needed flooring repair.  “One small leak can cause major damage,” he said and pointed out the rotten wood found in the trailer. Broadway has experience with RVs, he was a dealership manager years ago. “A trailer like this can last for the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.  “We can put 30 families in this trailer in the next 10 to 15 years and bring them from homeless to hopeful.” Broadway said he has a list of at least 25 families with kids waiting for an opportunity to get off the streets. “

Read the whole article and watch the video, Restored travel trailers provide sanctuary for homeless families with children, here.

Learn more about Brian K. Broadway’s project, Find, Feed & Restore, here.

Cianne Tima Jones featured in GirlTalkHQ

Our New ‘Teen Voices’ Series: Girls In Uganda Learning Leadership Skills Through Education, April 2017

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“We’re excited to launch a new mini-series on GTHQ! We’re partnering with a non-profit organization called Women In Leadership, based out of Uganda, to help promote one of their initiatives. In the Teen Voices Program, they encourage high school girls in the rural town of Busembatia to write article about their lives, and the challenges they face as females in a largely patriarchal society. These stories are then published online, reaching an international audience.

Read the article, Our New ‘Teen Voices’ Series: Girls In Uganda Learning Leadership Skills Through Education, here.

Learn more about Cianne Tima Jones’s project, Teen Voices Uganda!, here.

Laura Edwards feautured in The Independent, UK

independent_uk_logoTeen Vegan Network: what it’s like to swear off meat and dairy before you’re 20, March 2017

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“Being a teenager is tough. The struggle to fit in, feel comfortable in a morphing body, and cope with seesawing emotions is something that we can all relate to. And for vegan teenagers, who are sticking their necks above an additional parapet, surely the world must be a lonely place? But as rates of veganism climb upwards, it’s young people that are leading the way. In the decade since 2006, there was a 350 per cent spike in the number of people who identified as vegan. And almost half of vegans are aged between 15 to 34. Meanwhile, food-friendly platforms like Instagram and fellow devotees in celebrities from Ariana Grande to Beyonce make committing to a plant-based diet less niche. “

Read the whole article, Teen Vegan Network: what it’s like to swear off meat and dairy before you’re 20, here.

Learn more about Laura Edwards’s project, Teen VGN, VGN Summer Camp, here.

Carol-Ann Nelson featured on KTVZ news

Destination Rehab holds painting, posture class, March 2017

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“Unusual combination helps progress on recovery”

Watch the video, Destination Rehab holds painting, posture class here.

Learn more about Carol-Ann Nelson’s project, Adventure Based Rehab, here.

Carol-Ann Nelson featured in PT IN MOTION magazine

Unlimited Adventure, March 2017

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“They were 3 individuals who were very different from one another, but who cumulatively have had a major impact on my life and those of others. One was a woman in her 30s who lived with her parents because a brain injury prevented her from living independently. The second was a teenage boy whose life had been forever altered by a gunshot to the neck that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. The third was an older gentleman with an Irish accent whose Parkinson disease (PD) resulted in frequent falls and stooped posture.”

Read the whole article, Unlimited Adventure, here.

Learn more about Carol-Ann Nelson’s project, Adventure Based Rehab, here.