At a ceremony held yesterday at Pegasus Park, The Dallas Foundation awarded its 2022 Pegasus Prize and a $50,000 grant to Seeds 2 STEM, a social enterprise that provides workshops and after-school programs in STEM education to underserved communities in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Seeds 2 STEM is an education firm that helps students reimagine the way they think about science,” CEO Branden Williams said on WFAA this morning.
“With the prize winnings, we’re launching a workplace readiness app for high school kids,” Williams added. “We want kids to have access to quality jobs and be prepared to take on livable wage jobs in the STEM space.”
Williams says he’s been working in science all his life. A former ninth-grade biology teacher with Uplift Education in Fort Worth, he said “I saw a disparity. And I wanted kids to learn more about STEM.”
The Arkansas native told WFAA about his goals for the future. “I’m really trying to bridge the digital divide here in North Texas and in rural communities across the country,” he said. “That’s my ultimate goal. And one day I hope I’m able to take some of this knowledge back to my home state of Arkansas.”
Seeds to STEM offers workshops, family science nights, after school programs, and more
Seeds 2 STEM’s Youth HUB offers a career readiness solution that enables job seekers and high school students to build their workplace readiness skills—delivered through a self-paced, career-focused online learning management system.
Founded in 2012, Seeds to STEM says it has served nearly 6,000 families with low to moderate income in Southern Dallas. The organization provides engaging scholar workshops on topics including physical and chemical science, matter and energy, force and motion, earth science, and living organisms and environments that are aligned to the Science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards, while highlighting 21st century STEM-related careers.
“Our programs and workshops harness the power of a team of committed volunteers to allow students to explore science concepts, science equipment, and/or lab techniques in a variety of formats, including hands-on laboratory experiences, large auditorium-based presentations, family science nights, after school programs, summer enrichment programs, and virtual presentations,” Seeds 2 STEM says on its YouTube channel.
Two other 2022 finalists included Kosmos Arts & Tech and Project Lorenzo
In addition to Seeds 2 STEM, the two other finalists for the 2022 Pegasus Prize were Kosmos Arts & Tech and Project Lorenzo. Each of those organizations received a $10,000 grant from The Dallas Foundation.
“All three of these finalists embody everything the Pegasus Prize stands for,” Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation, said in a recent statement. “These organizations share a focus on fueling change that enables individuals to reach their full potential. We can’t wait to see how receiving The Dallas Foundation’s Pegasus Prize amplifies the impact and reach of one of these incredibly worthy causes.”
Kosmos Arts & Tech’s Switch Workshop offers young adults a reflective, dynamic, and creativity-driven workshop designed to help them switch their thinking into a “success mindset.”
Project Lorenzo’s Skilled Jobs Program helps people leave homeless shelters and low-wage jobs by providing Google certification training and other IT skills training, mentoring, and job placement services.
A record 70-plus organizations applied for this year’s Pegasus Prize
The Dallas Foundation’s Drexel Owusu appeared on the WFAA interview this morning as well. He noted that the foundation received a record number of applications for this year’s Pegagus Prize from over 70 organizations across North Texas. “And last. night, National Philanthropy Day, we were able to award Seeds 2 STEM,” he said.
“The intention of the Pegasus Prize is to reward and support tackling our community’s biggest problems with fresh ideas,” Owusu added in a statement. “Seeds 2 STEM is leading the way in allowing our young people to reach higher earning potential in STEM-based careers.”
The annual social innovation grant is given to a nonprofit organization, a for-profit organizations with a charitable purpose, or a hybrid organization applying innovative approaches to addressing community needs. Since its inception, the Pegasus Prize has been an early investor in innovative organizations including Bonton Farms, After8toEducate, Yoga N Da Hood, 2S Industries, Impact Ventures and most recently, FreeWorld.
Foundation just crossed $1 billion in total giving since 1929
Since 1929, the Dallas Foundation has brought together people, ideas, and investments in Greater Dallas so individuals and families can reach their full potential. Earlier this month, it announced that it had crossed the $1 billion mark in total giving during its history. In 2021 alone, the foundation, in partnership with more than 400 fundholders, invested over $80 million into the community.
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