United Way’s 2019 GroundFloor Fellows Are Largest Class Yet

The 11 entrepreneurs that were chosen represent a wide range of solutions to social issues, from NICU family resources to bringing yoga to “the hood.”


The largest class of 2019 GroundFloor fellows has been announced, and they are planning to bring big, diverse social change to the North Texas community.

The purpose of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ GroundFloor program is to help early-stage social entrepreneurs on their journey toward having a successful impact in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The fellows will focus on growing their own programs through mentorship, education, and networking events. Past participants include Skratch and Café Momentum.

“I’m really impressed this year with the class of applicants that we’ve had come through because there are such a diverse set of needs that they’re addressing,” Dawn McKenzie, local marketing lead for Accenture, said in a United Way video. “They’re really not in any one category, they’re coming at community issues from all different angles.” 

Eighteen social entrepreneurs walked into the recent Quick Pitch Selection Day, but only 11 were chosen. The 2019 fellows represent a wide range of solutions to social issues, from NICU family resources to bringing yoga to “the hood.”


Here’s a list of the 2019 fellows and an explanation of their programs:

Bold Idea

An education nonprofit that teaches students computer science skills through “hands-on computing projects.” The students work in teams led by volunteer mentors who help them develop their ideas into technological reality.

Hand to Hold

This peer support network for neonatal intensive care unit families was created by founder Kelli Kelley after she had a lonely experience when her son Jackson was born prematurely at 24 weeks old. Hand to Hold’s mission is to help families before, during, and after a stay in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by providing resources and one-on-one mentoring from someone who has been through the same experience.


With the goal of creating a “more just world” that gives everyone the chance to live with more joy and less stress, this organization invests in low-income female entrepreneurs. The mission is to change the conversation when it comes to low-income communities and start helping them through trust and action.

My Possibilities

This Plano-based nonprofit believes in giving adults with disabilities the chance to grow in their abilities. The organization is dedicated to helping their “HIPsters” through vocational education so they can discover their own talents and share them with the world.

Ntarupt (North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens)

Texas’ teen birth rate is the fifth highest in the nation with Dallas having a teen birth rate of 39 births per 1,000 girls. Ntarupt is hoping to change that. The organization is focused on educating the next generation about teen pregnancy through evidence-based and evidence-formed sexuality education.


An organization that empowers youth from ages 12-24 who have experienced sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. At the POETIC Trauma Therapy Center and Creative Arts Studio, youth are offered free, daily programming that focuses on helping them reclaim their lives and move forward.

Readers 2 Leaders

In West Dallas, where 83 percent of all children are classified as economically disadvantaged, this literacy program is on a mission to beat the odds. Through after-school programs, parent education programs, special events, and more, Readers 2 Leaders is focused on equipping children ages 3-12 with literacy education to help them succeed in life.

Rosa es Rojo

Founded in 2013, this nonprofit focuses on educating and training women facing difficult health circumstances so they can improve physically and emotionally. The organization specifically targets immigrant Latina women and Latinas going through breast cancer.

Student Success Agency

An agency that gives students the ability to access a mentor with the swipe of their cell phone screen. Whether it’s mentoring, tutoring, or advising, the goal is for students to find convenient support on their path to success in college.

Tacky Box

A multi-sensory and emotional learning program designed to put an end to bullying and teach children to choose kindness over “tacky language and behavior.” Tacky Box’s mission is to shift the trend of bullying in North Texas and decrease youth suicides through the impact of the program’s cognitive behavioral strategies.

Yoga N Da Hood 

A nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental and physical health for lower-income communities through the practice of yoga. The organization has a goal to create a mobile yoga studio for Dallas youth called the “Mindful Yoga School Bus.”


Social Entrepreneurs Focused on Education Land $100K in United Way’s OneUp the Pitch

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