From Café Momentum to National Math & Science Initiative, DFW Groups Receive Funding

Educational institutions and nonprofits in Dallas-Fort Worth receive financial backing for their programs from foundations and businesses.

Cafe Momentum


Café Momentum Founder Chad Houser won the first-place prize of $50,000 in BBVA Compass’ accelerator program for social entrepreneurs.

The bank celebrated the BBVA Momentum award at a recent event, where Café Momentum also launched a fundraising effort for its plannned 4,500-square-foot Café Momentum Community Services Center.

Those in attendance were served a haute-cuisine meal by the former juvenile offenders who prepared and served the food. It gave them a first-hand look at how Houser’s restaurant helps rehabilitate the youth and re-enter society through the food-service industry.

Houser was among those who presented in December before a panel of judges, who evaluated the pitches on highest social impact and sustainability. Second place prize of $25,000 went to Margo Baines of Houston-based Chicks With Class, while Andy Lovley of Dallas-based Education Opens Doors received the third prize of $5,000.

During the March 8 event, Houser gave details about the planned community services center, which will include classroom space, therapy space, a wellness room, and access to health care. The nonprofit is looking to raise $435,000 for the center that will be located in the tunnel space beneath Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas.

Reymundo Ocañas, BBVA Compass’ director of corporate responsibility and reputation, announced that the BBVA Compass Foundation would be giving an additional $4,000 to sponsor a table and chairs at Café Momentum.


The Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative has received a $6.1 million grant that will be used to train and enhance the retention of outstanding math, science, and English teachers in two of the state of Georgia’s biggest school districts.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education SEED grant program and will fund the initiative’s College Readiness Progam.

To mark its 10th anniversary, in February NMSI unveiled a five-year plan to increase the number students, teachers, and schools it touches nationwide. NMSI serves schools across the country through its College Readiness Program, Laying the Foundation, and the UTeach Expansion Program.

Among the nonprofit’s founding funders are Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. and Dallas-based Texas Instruments.


A $500,000 Affordable Housing Grant will help put a roof over the heads of roughly 10 percent of Dallas’ homeless population. 

The grant from Frost Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas will provide gap funding to St. Jude Inc. for renovation of a building that once was a retirement apartment complex at the southeast corner of Josey and Forest lanes.

The $5.5 million, 104-unit project is scheduled to open in June. Additional funding came from a variety of sources, including the city of Dallas and Dallas County.

St. Jude is a member of the Catholic Housing Initiative and it bought the property. St. Jude will work with Catholic Charities of Dallas, which will operate the center and provide residents with a variety of social services. The initial men and women who become residents at the facility will be identified by a collaborative network of several social service agencies.


The deadline to apply for Moody Fund for the Arts grants is March 15. The MFA was created to offer grants to small and emerging Dallas arts groups that are supported by the city of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs and that have annual budgets of $1 million or less. Grant recipients will be announced in early summer. Applications can be completed on the fund’s website.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines has given a $25,000 grant to help the Patriots Point Flight Academy in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, according to the Charleston Regional Business Journal. The program is being developed by the airline and flight academy’s staff to focus on getting students interested in flight. Previously we reported on American’s grants to two North Texas flight academies — The McKinney ISD Aviation Academy and the V.R. Eaton High School’s Aviation & Aeronautics Academy in the Northwest ISD — in support of aviation training.

A University of Texas at Dallas criminologist and her students are creating a database to track shootings at K-12 schools nationwide dating back to 1990. The project is part of a grant led by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York. UT Dallas and Michigan State University also were involved in the work. 

A Dallas area Wendy’s employee was one of 10 employees nationwide recognized with $2,500 grants under the company’s Community Ambassador Grant Program. Clark Elms of Dallas supports The Human Impact, which works to create a space for the homeless. Elms, introduced to the program by his daughter, has sponsored members of the Dallas homeless community to get them back on their feet. He has driven people to rehab appointments, helped them save money, and, at times, given them a safe place to stay in his home.

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