INDIANAPOLIS – February 2, 2023 – 16 Tech Community Corporation, the non-profit organization leading the physical and programmatic development of the 16 Tech Innovation District, announced $325,000 in grant awards to 11 resident-endorsed projects that directly benefit the vitality of nearby neighborhoods.
This marks the fourth cycle of funding of the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund, a community-focused fund launched in 2019 to ensure access and opportunity for neighbors of the 16 Tech Innovation District. 16 Tech has awarded nearly $1.6 million in funding to 51 projects since 2020.
The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund is guided by an advisory committee, consisting of neighbors and neighborhood organizations, that ensures the fund, and its grants, align with the priorities identified by residents in the Near West, Near Northwest and surrounding neighborhoods, with a focus on workforce training, business support, education, neighborhood capacity building, and infrastructure and beautification.
Grants were awarded from two funding pools. The innovation pool funded requests up to $25,000 from neighborhood organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $1 million. The impact pool funded requests up to $100,000.
The slate of 16 Tech Community Investment Fund grantees includes:
16 Tech CIF Innovation Cycle 4 Awards
Re-Generation Indy – Community Comic Book ($21,200)
Re-Generation Indy and its partners will develop a creative writing and illustration program for 44 middle school and high school students who live in the Near Northwest. The students will create a 22-page graphic novel that represents what their community means to them. Students will design multiple characters, develop plots, engage with community members, participate in photography workshops, and dive into the process of printing and bindery.
Youth 2 Greatness – Chess in The Park Initiative ($25,000)
The Chess in the Park Initiative will provide a platform for community residents to connect with resources, tools, techniques, and relationships that support personal and community wellness. Youth 2 Greatness’s goal is to provide engaging and educational experiences that will enhance individual, household and community wellbeing.
Code Black Indy – Workforce Development for Adults ($25,000)
At Code Black Indy, their programming for many, is the first and only exposure to digital literacy and skills training. Without this resource, many high-paying jobs are out of reach and result in the continued cycle of generational poverty. Code Black Indy’s strategy is to introduce young adults and working age adults to foundational computer science skills and opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials that open technology job and entrepreneurial pathways.
Growing Places Indy – Indy Winter Farmers Market ($23,800)
Growing Places Indy aims to increase food access for area residents through usage of their one-of-a-kind SNAP Triple-Match program and the Fresh Bucks program at the Indy Winter Farmers Market – resources that can stretch family dollars and also build healthy habits. The Indy Winter Farmers Market also establishes a venue where local farmers and vendors can extend their selling season and profits through the winter and where people can gather to build a sense of shared community.
Community Assets – Pipeline: Classroom2Career ($25,000)
Community Assets believes one of the problems the Near Northwest area faces is that the neighborhood has become a “tech desert”. This causes a lack of resources and opportunities for young adults (14-24), lower school graduation rates and unlikely entry into technology related careers. Community Assets will advance community, school, and business partnerships to build a collaborative, after-school learning space where youth can learn at their own pace in an entrepreneurial environment, benefitting from individualized academic supports, enrichment, and interventions.
16 Tech CIF Impact Cycle 4 Awards
Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis – STEAM Education Initiatives ($50,000)
Vanguard Collegiate scholars will participate in “STEAM Fridays”, where students in grades 5-8 will take coding, robotics, fine arts, foreign language and mass media classes during the first semester of the academic year 2023-2024. During the second semester, students will take engineering and drone technology classes. Vanguard’s investments are intended to expand STEAM education for young people and their families, in order to improve students’ academic achievement and improve post-secondary educational access.
Hawthorne Social Service Association – Promoting Educational Attainment and Stability for Near West Families ($52,000)
Hawthorne Social Service Association will provide income-based scholarships to 40 low-income families to reduce barriers and promote equitable access to those participating in the early childhood program. Scholarships will be used to support families that are transitioning employment, returning to work, or are in the process of accessing vouchers. Scholarships allow families to immediately access their early childhood programming without creating undue financial hardship or forcing parents to make the difficult decision of forgoing childcare.
Herron-Riverside High School – Design Week ($28,350)
Herron-Riverside High School will establish a new high-quality, low-cost educational summer camp option for middle school students on the Near Northwest side of Indianapolis. With this support, “Design Week” will expand Herron-Riverside High School’s ability to serve families year-round by offering a high-quality STEAM enrichment summer program for 6th-8th graders, with a goal of increasing representation by individuals of color in high-demand, high-earning professional areas of graphic and engineering design.
Flanner House – Bridges to Health: Improving the Pathway to Affordable Healthy Food ($20,000)
The synergistic relationship between subsidiary organizations, Flanner Farms and Cleo’s Bodega and Cafe offers the Near Northwest community access to healthy food and household needs in an area which has been neglected and in desperate need of fresh food and produce. Their mobile bodegas greatly widen their reach and break barriers that continue to inflict harm on under-resourced communities. Flanner House’s program structure demonstrates successful planning in CSA/urban agriculture by leveraging as a mobile market. In addition, they will offer customer-based training in food trauma, nutrition awareness, cooking classes for healthy food, value added food, and direct delivery.
Triple T Academy – Nine 2 Six ($25,000)
The Nine 2 Six program provides a learning track that facilitates a comprehensive training regimen that will launch participants into a career in drone technology. Nine 2 Six graduates will be able to provide drone services in aerial photogrammetry, which deals with mapping and producing Orthmosaics for the agricultural industry, aerial inspections on cell phone towers, solar panel and wind turbine farms, powerline towers and their sub stations, along with providing construction sites with a plethora of data to help manage with greater safety awareness and cost savings.
Excellence LLC – Maximum Impact ($30,000)
Maximum Impact will empower Near West and Near Northwest residents to manage their health and wellness, and further establish Xcellence Fitness Academy as a trusted community partner. The program is designed to reduce the burden of the most vulnerable neighborhoods statistically harmed by Type 2 Diabetes by providing nutrition and physical activity education, exercise classes, and health and wellness evaluations directly to these communities.
16 Tech Community Corporation leads the physical and programmatic development of the district and ensures benefits of economic growth, new investment and job creation extend to nearby neighborhoods as well as the city, the region and the state.
To learn more about 16 Tech, tune in for an upcoming virtual community update on Friday, Feb. 24 at 9 a.m.
More information can be found at 16tech.com.