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Ford Fund Awards $25,000 to STEAM-Focused Non-Profits on NBC’s GIVE

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Ford Fund Focuses on STEAM

Ford Fund President Jim Vella appeared on NBC’s Emmy-nominated reality show GIVE this past Saturday to award $25,000 to two non-profit organizations focused on providing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education to women, African-Americans, and Latinos in the hopes of increasing equal representation in those fields.

Vella appeared as part of a panel that helped host Jenna Bush Hager determine how to split Ford Fund’s $25,000 prize among two organizations: The Hidden Genius Project in Oakland, California and Code2040 in San Francisco. After consulting with the panel, Hager determined that the former would receive $15,000 for its aims to put young African-American men on a path to careers in the technology industry, and that the latter would get $10,000 to help grow opportunities for African-Americans and Latinos at tech companies.

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“This is incredibly helpful,” said Karla Monterroso, vice president of programs, Code2040. “We’re really looking at what expansion of the program looks like.” Laura Weidman Powers, founder of Code2040, was previously the recipient of the Ford Freedom Award in 2015.

“We have so many needs to fill, from supporting our students with transportation to making sure they have computers, and keeping our great team so we can serve more students,” said Brandon Nicholson, founding executive director, The Hidden Genius. “It means a great deal. Thank you for this.”

This marked Ford Fund’s second appearance on NBC’s GIVE in 2017; last month, Vella and host Blair Underwood awarded $15,000 to the Armed Services Arts Partnership and $10,000 to Bunker Labs DC, two non-profit organizations aimed at helping military veterans.

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