NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation Announce $225,000 in ‘Project Innovation' Grants for Local Nonprofits

Project Innovation is an annual grant challenge powered by the NBCUniversal Foundation

project innovation

What to Know

  • Project Innovation is a competitive grant program presented locally by NBC 5 & Telemundo 39 in partnership with the NBCUniversal Foundation.
  • Awarded to North Texas organizations that are using innovation to address community issues.
  • Four categories were considered: Culture of Inclusion, Youth Education, Next Generation Storytellers, and Community Engagement.

NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation today announced that eight local nonprofit organizations will receive a total of $225,000 in grants. This year’s winners are local nonprofit organizations who applied and were selected based on innovation within at least one of four grant categories: storytelling, community engagement, culture of inclusion and youth education.

"We are proud to see so many unique organizations creating innovative solutions to make a difference in the Dallas-Fort Worth community," said Tom Ehlmann, NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 President and General Manager. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to increase the impact in the work they are already doing through existing and expanding programs."

Project Innovation is presented by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal that includes NBC 5 and Telemundo 39. The Project Innovation program supports nonprofit organizations that are using innovation to advance local communities. A total of $2.475 million will be presented to 68 nonprofit organizations located in 11 markets, all doing their part to transform their communities by providing solutions to real-life problems.

The North Texas 2019 Project Innovation grant winners feature local nonprofits that are working to reducing recidivism among the juvenile justice system, increasing services to underserved populations in the community, create an equal playing field for individuals and future generations of leaders to excel in the areas of STEAM and encouraging diversity in volunteerism that is more representative of the communities served.

Local Project Innovation 2019 grant recipients include:

Big Thought – awarded $50,000. Big Thought's Creative Solutions arts-based intervention program for youth on probation in the juvenile justice system helps improve job skills and increase social and emotional development through creative and therapeutic expression, to close the gap to success. The organization will use their Project Innovation grant to continue their work with the students to promote lasting positive, personal and professional change.

29 Acres Inc. – awarded $50,000. 29 Acres Transition Academy exemplifies a program dedicated to a culture of inclusion by serving a highly-underserved population of adults with autism in North Texas. They will use the grant money to expand their residential transition program to additional beneficiaries, teaching independent living skills and giving young adults an opportunity to practice those skills while living independently. 

Café Momentum – awarded $25,000. Café Momentum was created to increase employment and decrease recidivism among adjudicated teens through a "whole-person" approach, providing participants with a 12-month paid internship that includes intensive culinary training, life skills training and case management support to help address critical needs (food, housing, medical, counseling, treating substance problems, etc.)  The grant will contribute funding toward expanded course offerings and extended reach of offerings in their newly opened Community Services Center.

After-School All-Stars North Texas – awarded $25,000. After-School All-Stars' (ASAS) STEM academic enrichment initiative strives to eliminate disparities in access and exposure to STEM that exist between advantaged students and disadvantaged students, with a goal of long-term engagement in the communities they serve. ASAS offers innovative STEM based learning opportunities that require outside funding to continue, including DJ Music production, #femSTEM, coding, photography, robotics, podcasting and Educational Minecraft.

Trinity River Mission Inc. – awarded $25,000. Trinity River Mission's STEAM Zone (K-5th grade) and Infinity 2 (6th-9th grade) programs provide daily, afterschool STEAM lessons and concepts to underrepresented students in Dallas, as well as offers activities through organizational partnerships connecting students to real-life experiences. With this grant, Trinity River Mission can elevate its impact by increasing the number students served in West Dallas.

Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra – awarded $22,500. Greater Dallas' Youth Orchestra Community Engagement and Music Education Initiative (GDYO) recently addressed a growing need within Dallas Independent School District (DISD) by providing fully subsidized services for DISD's elementary through high school classical and jazz music programs. Additional funding allows the program to continue to offer short-term and long-term assistance for students, delivering additional music instruction, supplies, private lessons and regular mentoring.

Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation Inc. – awarded $17,500. In line with its overall mission to provide performing arts presentations and arts education programs in Dallas' Arts District, the foundation offers local youth many opportunities, including STEAM education through Backstage Spotlight and Open Stages. AT&T Performing Arts Center's Middle School Expansion Initiative is designed to reach younger students and gives them an equitable opportunity in a safe place for exploration and expression, which is critical at their age.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Denton County Inc. – awarded $10,000. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a renowned foster children's advocate program that provides trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. One of CASA Denton County's goals is to have its volunteer base more closely mirror the makeup of children they are serving. To do this, it is imperative they attract more interest from male volunteers. To achieve this, a portion of their Men of CASA targeted campaign will be funded through this grant.

To see the list of all Project Innovation 2019 winners, visit nbcuniversal.com.

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