16 Tech Community Corporation has named two new members to the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund Advisory Committee. The Rev. Richard Bray, community partnership manager for the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, and Yecenia Tostado, executive director of the Project Azul Foundation, joined the 11-member advisory committee effective January 1, 2020.
16 Tech Community Corporation, the nonprofit entity that oversees the development of the 50-acre 16 Tech Innovation District on the northwestern edge of downtown Indianapolis, established its Community Investment Fund to support resident-endorsed projects in the neighborhoods surrounding the district that advance workforce training, business support, education, infrastructure and beautification, and neighborhood capacity building initiatives.
The advisory committee includes residents as well as talent development, community development and educational representatives who have been active in creating programs and initiatives that support the Near West, Near Northwest and surrounding communities.
“We welcome Richard and Yecenia to our advisory committee and are thankful for the additional community relations, education and workforce development expertise they bring to the committee,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation.
Bray has a long, distinguished career in the higher education, congregations and nonprofit sectors. In his role as community partnership manager for IUPUI, he develops and strengthens partnerships with community organizations. In his previous roles, Bray helped undergraduate students and their families realize that attending and graduating from a university is achievable and fostered relationships between the university and community stakeholders in support of their quality of life programs.
“I am honored and humbled to be a member of the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund Advisory Committee,” Bray said. “This involvement extends my commitment to foster relationships with local citizens, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to equip and engage residents in creating thriving neighborhoods where they live, learn, work, worship and play.”
Tostado has committed her professional career to increasing educational and career success for under-represented populations. In her role as executive director of Project Azul Foundation, she leads the organization’s efforts to provide individuals from underserved communities with the flexible training and financial assistance needed to transition from unemployment and underemployment into full-time careers offering higher wages, access to benefits and a pathway to career advancement. Tostado previously served as associate director of Indy Achieves and as the senior program director at the Indiana Latino Institute.
“I am honored to serve on the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund Advisory Committee,” Tostado said. “I look forward to supporting the innovative organizations that are working to increase the quality of life for residents in the 16 Tech area.”
16 Tech will announce the first round of awards from the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund in April. A second grant round, which will award an additional $500,000 for a total of $1 million to be awarded in 2020, is planned for the second half of 2020.
Information about the 16 Tech Community Investment Fund and a full list of advisory committee members can be found at www.16tech.com/community-investment/.