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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Philanthropy

This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

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Academy Museum To Offer Free Admission To Visitors Under 18 Through A Major Grant From The George Lucas Family Foundation In Honor Of Sid Ganis

Amy Homma Joins Museum as First Director of Education and Public Engagement

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, CA, April 18, 2019 — Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, today announced the George Lucas Family Foundation has provided a transformative grant in support of the Academy Museum’s educational mission. The Academy Museum will use the funds to create an endowment underwriting free admission to the Museum in perpetuity for visitors ages 17 and younger. The George Lucas Family Foundation established the generous grant in honor of Sid Ganis, former President and current Vice President of the Academy’s Board of Governors and Chair of its Museum Committee. Brougher also announced the appointment of the Museum’s inaugural Director of Education and Public Engagement, Amy Homma, who was most recently at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

Kerry Brougher said, “At the Academy Museum, we are committed to helping educate our youngest visitors: the children and teens who will be the next generation of filmmakers, writers, and visual artists. To succeed though we must break down the financial barriers that make it difficult for families, students, and teens to visit cultural institutions. We are deeply grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for understanding our mission so well and making it possible for us to waive admission for our youngest audiences, so they can engage with exhibitions and programs that will nurture their creativity and encourage them to tell their own stories.”

Sid Ganis said, “I could not be more honored and humbled by George’s gift to young movie lovers around the world. Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling. Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the art and the techniques of filmmaking. With the impending openings of the Academy Museum and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles will soon have two major new resources for culture and education with a shared focus on the art of storytelling and a dedication to the next generation. We are proud and grateful that the George Lucas Family Foundation is making this tremendous commitment to serving the young people of L.A.”

“Although not every child who visits the Academy Museum will embark on a career in filmmaking, each young person deserves to be inspired by the new perspectives and ideas that come through their exposure to the arts,” said Brougher. “As we prepare for these early initiatives, it is a perfect time to bring Amy Homma, our new Director of Education and Public Engagement, into the fold. She brings with her a wealth of experience engaging visitors of all ages.”

Homma will oversee the Museum’s K-12 programming, including the Shirley Temple Education Studio initiatives, as well as public programs ranging from lectures, symposia, and panels to in-gallery talks and online programming. She previously served as the Acting Deputy Director of the Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, where she created innovative pan-institutional and multi-disciplinary public programs, including a 12-hour conversation series that brought together noted writers, musicians, scientists, technologists, and other experts in numerous arenas. She also piloted new technologies and online experiences for visitors across multiple Smithsonian museums. As Director of Digital Learning at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, she created a diverse range of education programs for all ages focused on learning, collaboration, and experimentation and established an internationally recognized education studio with distinctive arts programming, including the museum’s signature teen program. She also initiated a partnership with the National Museum of Natural History to demonstrate the power of teaching art and science together and oversaw the development of education efforts for teachers, families, schools, youth, and adults.

Under Homma’s leadership, the Academy Museum will build meaningful, long-term connections with local schools and will present public programs that welcome the broadest audiences in Los Angeles and beyond. The Museum’s core education initiative will be its teen program, based in the Shirley Temple Education Studio, serving young people of all backgrounds across the Greater Los Angeles area. The program will encourage teens to think critically about the media that surrounds them and help them to develop the necessary skills to make their own films and digital productions.

“Movies, and the magic that surrounds them, offer limitless opportunities to delight, challenge, and educate both children and adults,” said Homma. “The Academy Museum’s programming will offer something for everyone. I am delighted to be joining the team and especially grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for ensuring a barrier-free experience for our next generation of movie makers and movie lovers.”

Additional details about Museum admission, hours, and ticketing will be announced at a later date.


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Safety Alerts for Education Foundation (S.A.F.E.) Donates Emergency Alerts Platform to Schools, Colleges and Universities Across the US for Enhanced Protection in the Event of a Life-Threatening Emergency

Hyper-local Mobile Alerts Can Save Lives in An Emergency Such As, A Mass Shooting, Where A Few Seconds Can Be The Difference Between Life and Death

Press Release – April 19, 2019 – Nashua, NH. S.A.F.E., the Safety Alerts for Education Foundation, announced today that it is donating the Safety Alerts for Education (S.A.F.E.) emergency mobile alerts platform to all schools, colleges and Universities across the US for free and in perpetuity. This is the exact same, fully featured system that has been in use by The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other Federal, state and local agencies, and police departments across the country for the past seven years. S.A.F.E may save lives in situations where a few extra seconds of warning can be the difference between life and death.

The S.A.F.E. Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization founded by the principals of Ping4 Inc., of Nashua, NH. Ping4 invented and developed the Ping4Alerts emergency communications technology that the S.A.F.E. Foundation uses. This S.A.F.E. system is currently offered and being implemented in New Hampshire and Massachusetts Schools. This same system, developed by Ping4, was used during the Boston Marathon bomber manhunt and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. At a New Hampshire launch press conference Governor Sununu lauded “the opportunity that schools now have to create a first class, world class, security and communications system for their students.”

“The wellbeing of our students, and the safety of our schools, matter to all of us”, said Jim Bender, CEO of Ping4, “This issue of school safety goes well beyond making sure that our children make it home safely from school each day. It is also about creating a positive school environment which is more conducive to learning, and more conducive to teaching. We are excited to expand our New Hampshire S.A.F.E. initiative to Massachusetts. The Columbine High School massacre was nearly 20 years ago and not much has changed since then. In the first five months of 2018, more people were killed in American public schools than in US military operations globally. This impactful step toward improving school safety can be implemented immediately, without getting held up in contentious debates over gun laws or mental health issues.”

S.A.F.E. enables schools to send geographically precise emergency alerts, anonymously, and in real-time, to nearly any smartphone in any school building or on any campus. A favorite of law enforcement agencies and first responders, S.A.F.E. provides real-time instructions to those inside school buildings to better protect themselves and get out of harm’s way quicker. First responders outside can also receive valuable information in real-time from inside a building, even before they arrive on the scene, reducing response times and giving greater situational awareness of a shooter or other emergency.

“We are pleased to be among one of the first educational institutions in the country to encourage usage of this important and meaningful smartphone application, in an effort to keep our schools safe,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “As more schools opt-in, everyone connected to the school community – educators, parents, and students – will be able to stay informed during an emergency.”

“When we reviewed every after-action report of school shootings across the country communication was always an issue,” said Perry Plummer, Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the state of NH. “How do we let the people know what they should do to protect themselves and how do we let parents know that their child is safe and where to pick them up.”

A free download for school students and staff on iOS or Android, S.A.F.E. provides an administrative alert dashboard for school administrators to send secure life-saving alerts. S.A.F.E. delivers 2-way rich media messages in real-time, with any combination of audio, video, pictures and text, which can be very helpful to police, school administrators, and first responders in assessing situations, saving lives, and solving crimes. S.A.F.E. is completely anonymous and collects no personal data from users of the app.

Parents of children in the school can preset “watched locations” on their own phone, so that they will receive all alerts sent to their children at school, as well as designated, safe child pick-up locations, regardless of where the parents are at the time. S.A.F.E. messages can originate either from the school administration itself, or from local law enforcement, or both. S.A.F.E. can be implemented locally within weeks.

Each school or school system can customize, manage and send out their own alerts via an easy to use web-based portal. S.A.F.E. can isolate a school building or campus on a map and only those in the designated areas will receive the alerts. S.A.F.E.’s ability to pinpoint locations with geographic accuracy is second to none.

Any school system, college or university can opt-in to this system by signing up here.

S.A.F.E. Videos:

  • Click here to view an emergency simulation with local police in Manchester, NH on how the system can be used.
  • S.A.F.E. is currently being deployed in the school systems throughout New Hampshire, as announced at this press conference
  • The SAFE system for schools is identical to both Ping4Alerts and to Massachusetts Alerts, which have been used to help protect citizens in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 2012. Click here to see the Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency explain why they have chosen this system.
  • You can watch the discussion at the Manchester, NH School Board Meeting here.
  • Click here to hear University of New Hampshire police chief, Paul Dean, explain how Ping4alerts has been useful to them in a University environment.

About S.A.F.E.: Safety. Alerts. For. Education.

The S.A.F.E app is FREE for any school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to make schools safer for students and staff by providing the ability to send hyperlocal emergency alerts in real-time to anyone located within the impacted area. The solution includes a free mobile app your students can download on iOS or Android and an administrative alert dashboard for the secure sending of alerts. There is no infrastructure for schools to own or operate. Every school would have their own secure administrative alert dashboard, giving them the sole right to pre-define alert area messages or create them in real-time. S.A.F.E. is an opt-in program for schools. Every school system has the right to join our program for FREE today. S.A.F.E. uses Ping4 Inc.’s hyperlocal, mobile alerts app, ping4alerts!, that instantly notifies you of dangers and emergencies wherever you are in the world.


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Prices for Vintage Video Games and Prototypes Surge as Rarities Head to Auction Next Month

Heritage Auctions expects collectors may bid $20,000 or more for limited run and prototype games May 16-18

Press Release – DALLAS, Texas (April 18, 2019) – Who could predict a copy of Nintendo’s Donkey Kong 3 (NES, 1986) and a rare cartridge of Nintendo World Championships (NES, 1990) – the game played during the world’s first nationwide video game competition – are now enticing collectors to pay $20,000 or more for each at auction next month?

The explosive demand for vintage video games, particularly those professionally certified, are now bringing big dollars at auctions, with no price ceiling in sight. A group of 53 such games and game prototypes will cross the auction block May 16-18 in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas, and on HA.com.

“This Donkey Kong 3 is the fourth revision of this black box game, indicated in part by the presence of the hangtab under the shrink wrap,” Heritage Auctions’ Video Game Consignment Director Valarie McLeckie said. “This particular variant had a very small print window, and there are fewer than five of this variant confirmed in sealed condition. We anticipate this will be a very popular item with collectors.”

These games and others are all sealed in hard plastic cases after certification by Wata Games, which has built a strong business based on collector nostalgia. Wata staff evaluates each submission based on condition, authenticity and historic context before the video game is encapsulated in a case secured with six locking clips. Wata even preserves a prototype game’s data by “dumping” and storing it on a secure database which will only be accessible using the firm’s unique Matrix code, a feature that will be released in the near future.

The gray cartridge of Nintendo World Championships 1990 is one of fewer than 100 left from the 1990 Nintendo World Championships US Tour. Some competitors’ parents expressed concerns that it was unfair that there was a Nintendo Power giveaway for the Gold version of these cartridges, but their kids who participated in the competition would not get one to keep. The offered copy is one of those given to satisfy those concerns, and it is believed that only 50 to 60 remain in existence. Many have torn labels, some with writing on them, meaning very few can be considered to be in true mint condition. Ironically, the cheaper glue that allowed some labels to lift up from the cartridges, and subsequently were glued back down, now are considered a measure of authenticity. So rare are these cartridges that they have become the centerpiece of many collections.

Sought-after prototypes offered in the auction include Adventure Island Prototype (NES, Hudson Soft, 1988) Wata Certified may sell for more than $4,000, and collectors could also pay $4,000 for a copy of Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos Prototype (NES, Tecmo, 1990) Wata Certified.

“Until now, prototype collecting was not as accessible to collectors because authenticating these handmade cartridges requires a great deal of specialized knowledge,” McLeckie said. “Each prototype is completely unique as there were no standardized means of creation for these test cartridges. Now, with Wata certifying them, anyone can be much more confident that the prototype games they’re buying are genuine.

For high-resolution images or to arrange interviews for more information about vintage video games at auction visit ha.com/7209 or contact Eric Bradley, Director of Public Relations at 214-409-1871 or EricB@ha.com

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

For breaking stories, follow us: HA.com/Facebook and HA.com/Twitter. Link to this release or view prior press releases.


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Hospice Hopes For £250k On 10th Anniversary Ride

Pedal for The J’s, Chelmsford’s annual cycle ride, is returning to the city for the 10th yearon Sunday 5th May.

Press Release – Since it first began, this popular event has raised a total of £230,000 for The J’s Hospice which supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex, in the comfort of their own homes and in the community. The charity helps them to live their lives to the full, however short, and this money has paid for a range of services including tailored nursing and emotional care, advice and social activities.

This year, organisers at The J’s are hoping to see 1,000 bicycles at the start line to celebrate the event’s 10th year and bring the total raised over the decade to an impressive £250,000.

Lucy Burgess, Events Fundraiser for The J’s Hospice, explained, “Thank you to the hundreds of cyclists from Essex and beyond who take part in Pedal for The J’s every year. We had no idea when we organised the first cycle ride, that it would become such a popular event, raising so much money for The J’s Hospice and making such a difference to so many young lives.

“We must raise over £19,000 each week to be there for every young adult who needs us, so we are very grateful to all of the generous people who sponsor our cyclists and help them raise even more. If we could reach £250,000, it would be such an amazing achievement, so please join us on the 5th May to make the tenth Pedal for The J’s the biggest yet.“

Cyclists have a choice of three circular routes of 15, 35 and 50 miles through the beautiful local countryside, all starting and finishing at Admirals Park, Chelmsford – so Pedal for The J’s is popular with people looking for a relaxing, scenic ride as well as experienced teams from cycling clubs.

There will also be cycling fun for all the family from 10am to 2pm with The Bike Club balance bike course, Eddie Spokes and vintage bicycles, glitter and tattoos with Luxurious Glitter, the Virgin Active Static bike challenge, a bar, food and music. Little Wheelers Ltd professional cycling coach will be there too, offering cycling tips and advice from 10am to 12 noon.

Pedal for The J’s is sponsored by Beaulieu – the new district in Chelmsford by Countryside and L&Q – which has kindly agreed to be the headline sponsor for the fifth time.

Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land at Countryside said: “For the fifth year in a row, it’s an absolute pleasure to sponsor this event in support of the vital work that The J’s Hospice does across Essex. Countless young adults with life-limiting conditions have benefited from the charity’s relentless work over the years and will, without a doubt, continue to do so.”

He then added: “Pedal for the J’s has proved itself to be a key fundraising event that year-on-year brings the community together to support those who most need it. I would like to personally thank all the cyclists and donors for their generous contributions. Finally, a big thank you as well to the local community who have turned up each year to watch the event and cheer their loved ones on.”

To find out more or book your place for Pedal for The J’s 2019 please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/pedal where you can also watch highlights from Pedal 2018.

The J’s Hospice is part of Havens Hospices, which also includes Little Havens Hospice and Fair Havens Hospice. To find out more, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk .


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This Earth Day, LACOSTE Celebrates Long-Standing Relationship With The Everglades Foundation And Teases New Collaboration

Press Release – MIAMI (April 18, 2019) – From water quality studies, to in-store educational displays, to restoration initiatives of threatened species and more, The Everglades Foundation’s long-standing relationship with LACOSTE has been integral to fostering awareness of the beauty, and fragility, of the threatened Everglades ecosystem.

This Earth Day, The Everglades Foundation is pleased to announce that LACOSTE has renewed its commitment to The Everglades Foundation for another three-years, and will be launching a new collaboration with the French apparel company in the Fall of 2019, with a focus on continuing the work of protecting the only habitat in the world where American crocodiles and alligators coexist. Additional details of the partnership will be announced shortly.

“LACOSTE has been a proud partner of The Everglades Foundation since 2013 and will continue to support the cause for years to come,” said Joëlle Grünberg, President and CEO of LACOSTE North and Central America. “This new collaboration will elevate and expand our partnership in an exciting way.”

“This new partnership will soon launch a special co-branded campaign to engage those who share the belief in protecting and preserving our most precious natural resources,” Eric Eikenberg, Chief Executive Officer of The Everglades Foundation. “We are excited to honor and celebrate this partnership with a new collaboration and look forward to showing the world the beauty and importance of the Everglades.

LACOSTE, the world-famous brand with the iconic crocodile logo, has been a loyal partner of The Everglades Foundation for several years, helping advance the science that leads the world’s largest environmental restoration project. Previous collaborations included a study on hydrology and water quality and its impact on American crocodiles and alligators living in the same region, as well as a limited-edition “Water Is Life” T-shirt for Earth Day 2015.

The Everglades, situated in southern Florida, is the largest subtropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent. The exceptional variety of its aquatic habitats has made it a sanctuary for many birds and reptiles. It also serves as a refuge for over 70 rare, endangered and threatened species, including crocodiles.

“The Everglades is under threat from continuing serious deterioration,” said Rex Hamilton, Everglades Foundation board member. “It’s one of America’s most critically endangered sites, and we’re proud to continue to expand upon our partnership with LACOSTE.”

For more information or updates on the launch, follow The Everglades Foundation at www.facebook.com/evergladesfoundation or visit www.evergladesfoundation.org.

About The Everglades Foundation

The Everglades Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to leading efforts to restore and protect the greater Everglades ecosystem. Since its founding in 1993 by a group of local outdoor enthusiasts, the Foundation has become a respected and important advocate for the sustainability of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. For more information about The Everglades Foundation, please visit EvergladesFoundation.org.

F: @EvergladesFoundation | I: @EvergladesFoundation | T: @EverGFoundation

About LACOSTE

For LACOSTE, Life is a Beautiful Sport!

Since the very first polo was created in 1933, LACOSTE relies on its authentic sportive roots to spring optimism and elegance on the world thanks to a unique and original lifestyle for women, men and children. With a vision to be the leading player in the premium casual wear market, the Crocodile brand is today present in 120 countries through a selective distribution network. Two LACOSTE items are sold every second in the world. As an international group gathering 10,000 women and men, LACOSTE offers a complete range of products: apparel, leather goods, fragrances, footwear, eyewear, home wear, watches and underwear, all of them being elaborated in the most qualitative, responsible and ethical way.

For more information: www.lacoste.com


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As A Thriving Economy Drives Homeless Numbers Up, Citypak Provides Life-Changing Benefits One Backpack At A Time

Press Release – CHICAGO (April 17, 2019) – It is cruel irony. As the economy grows, so does the problem of homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cites that in 2018, 553,000 people were homeless in America. It was second straight year the number rose despite a healthy economy and low unemployment. HUD also reported that the percentage of the homeless population housed in emergency shelters decreased, meaning even more people are, literally, on the streets.

Ron Kaplan, founder of the Citypak Project, does not expect to shift these trends with backpacks. But the non-profit he started in 2012 is proving that for many, the enhanced mobility and security provided by a durable, well-designed backpack can be life-changing.

“For someone living on the street, being able to protect your belongings or have the ability to move securely from one place to another can be a game-changer,” said Kaplan. “You may need to travel to reach a family member, seek shelter or get medical treatment – maybe make a job interview – and if you’re not mobile it’s a serious problem.”

Kaplan, a music industry executive based in L.A., was inspired to launch the Citypak initiative after years of involvement with various philanthropic endeavors. “I ended up spending more time working with the homeless than anything else,” said the Chicago native. “I realized that if they only had some basic needs met, it could make their lives much more livable.”

Too many people, Kaplan realized, were unable to move efficiently. Clothing and bedding made travel cumbersome. Belongings were unsecured. To address this, he teamed up with outdoor equipment brand High Sierra to create a versatile backpack with features geared for life on the street. An integrated rain poncho shields against the elements. Reflective material provides visibility at night. Anti-theft loops attach to an arm or leg when needed. Extra straps accommodate blankets or bedrolls. Secure, dry interior pockets protect ID cards, money and personal items.

The Citypak Project has set out to distribute the specially-designed backpacks to homeless families and individuals across the U.S., and ultimately, around the world. To date, the organization has distributed more than 57,000 backpacks through more than 200 mission-centered community organizations in 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Last month, more than 1,000 backpacks were given away in L.A. A distribution is scheduled for April 27 in New Orleans, and Kaplan plans to expand into Australia.

While High Sierra produces the packs at a special low cost, Citypak must raise money through donations to cover production and fulfill its mission. The non-profit has a long way to go to achieve its goal of improving the quality of life for every homeless person in America. Regardless, Kaplan remains determined to create a worldwide movement, knowing that every journey begins with the first step.

About the Citypak Project

Founded by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Ron Kaplan in 2012, the Citypak Project is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization that works to provide custom designed backpacks to homeless persons in need. Working with exclusive manufacturing partner High Sierra, Citypak provides a safe, convenient and versatile backpacks uniquely designed to make life on the street more livable. The organization has distributed over 57,000 backpacks to homeless in 150 cities across North America and continues to expand. www.citypak.org

About High Sierra

A division of Samsonite LLC, High Sierra designs feature-rich, versatile outdoor lifestyle gear for adventurers everywhere. Founded in 1978, High Sierra creates durable, affordable products with distinctive details. In 2012, High Sierra formed a design partnership with the Chicago-based Citypak Project [501(c)(3)] to create purposeful, utilitarian backpacks for the homeless. High Sierra is also proud to be the Official Bags supplier to the U.S. Ski, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams. www.highsierra.com


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HSBC Bank Grants $1 Million to Virtual Enterprises International

Funds will support the expansion of VE’s unique program that is preparing high school students for the jobs of the future and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs

Program is addressing a critical gap in employment. According to studies, only 42.5 percent of employers consider students proficient in their professionalism and work ethic.

Press Release – NEW YORK, April 17, 2019 – HSBC Bank USA (HSBC) announced today that it has donated $1 million to Virtual Enterprises International (VE), allowing the nonprofit to offer its acclaimed career readiness and youth entrepreneurship program to 30,000 students in classrooms across the United States over the next two years. The HSBC relationship with VE began in 1999 and has included more than $2.8 million to date, as well as hours of service by HSBC employee-volunteers visiting the classrooms and acting as judges for the Youth Business Summit.

VE is a global, credited, in-school program where students create a simulated business in their classroom. Students gain an average of 180 hours of work experience by assuming the roles needed to run a successful business such as CEO, VP of Finance and HR Director. Through the program, students cultivate key professional, technical and life skills that are required to prepare them for the jobs of the future, while taking part in an authentic, collaborative, entrepreneurial experience.

The $1 million donation by HSBC will not only facilitate growth of the VE program in additional cities, but will support its expansion to high-need schools where more than 50 percent of the student population are from low-income households. The new funding will create the “HSBC Opportunity Fund” with students competing for funds to cover travel costs to attend VE’s national competitions during the Youth Business Summit.

According to statistics in the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2018 study, students’ perceptions of their career readiness skills are at odds with those held by potential employers. According to NACE research, only 42.5 percent of employers considered students proficient in their professionalism and work ethic compared to 89.4 percent of students. Additionally, while 79.9 percent of students believed they had honed critical thinking/problem solving skills, only 55.8 percent of employers felt the same.

“VE is unique in its way of preparing today’s youth for jobs of the future – some of which have yet to be invented,” said Maureen A. Gillan-Myer, US head of human resources for HSBC. “While technological skills are important for those careers, the higher cognitive skills like creativity, critical thinking, and complex information processing are vital, and are attributes honed through the VE program.”

Students recently benefitting from past HSBC grants include the VE class at C.S. Brown STEM High School in rural Winton, N.C. The students, who created a virtual fashion company, were given an all-expense paid trip to New York City by HSBC, enabling their participation in the Youth Business Summit.

“This whole experience has changed the motivation and focus of my students,” said VE teacher Daphne Lee of C.S. Brown STEM High School. “They feel so excited and appreciative of this opportunity; it has brought out the entrepreneur in them. We want to make sure that every student who comes through our school gets an opportunity to be a part of the VE program.”

The 20-year HSBC-VE partnership has not only provided VE with substantive financial support, but has given the nonprofit the assistance of hundreds of HSBC employees who have mentored students in business and entrepreneurship. Each year for the past two years, HSBC has been the signature sponsor of VE’s Youth Business Summit (YBS), an annual global business conference in New York City. This year, more than 5,000 students from virtual businesses in nine countries will participate in YBS, competing against one another for best business plan in the U.S., top sales pitches and more.

“HSBC’s very generous donation allows VE to offer students a life-changing opportunity to gain access to and engage with the global business community,” said Nick Chapman, president of Virtual Enterprises International. “Through HSBC, our program will continue to transform tens of thousands of students each year through authentic business experiences that mirror the real world.”


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Glenn Beck Partners With Sage Creek to Fight Child Trafficking

Sage Creek Extends Fundraiser Timeline To Allow For Increased Participation

Press Release – MOAB, Utah, April 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sage Creek at Moab, a Utah-based luxury resort property, announced today that it is partnering with political commentator Glenn Beck to raise $1 million to fight child sex trafficking. The partnership is part of a fundraising giveaway dubbed the Sage Creek Drive in the Desert. In light of this and other new partnerships, Sage Creek at Moab also announced that it will be extending the duration of the drive to allow for increased participation.

Beck has long been a vocal proponent of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that runs sting operations to apprehend traffickers and free their victims. Operation Underground Railroad is one of two nonprofits that will benefit from the fundraising effort. The other, Child Liberation Foundation, raises awareness and provides funds to vetted partner charities for the rescue and aftercare of child trafficking victims.

Sage Creek has organized the drive as part of its philanthropic efforts, and invites the public to donate. Donors will be entered into a prize drawing to be held on May 25, allowing new entrants an extra month to participate after the original April deadline. Prizes include a 2019 Jeep Wrangler (Moab Edition) and a five-night stay at the newly opened resort in the heart of Utah’s offroad country, both donated by Sage Creek.

“We’re excited that Glenn is helping us to raise awareness about the Sage Creek Drive in the Desert.” Wayne Aston, president of Sage Creek, said, “It’s a tremendous opportunity for people to support two great nonprofits that have freed thousands of children from modern slavery. The drive gives people a chance to participate at whatever level they are comfortable – whether it’s $5 to buy a warm meal for a kid in aftercare, or $5,000 to fund a sting.”

“We believe that our partnership with Glenn is going to drive a lot of new awareness for the cause, which is why we’re extending our entry deadline to raise even more funds. Our goal is to raise over $1 million, with all the donations going straight to the charities.”

To make a donation and enter to win the giveaway, visit sagecreek.rallyup.com/sagecreek.

About Operation Underground Railroad

Operation Underground Railroad is registered 501(c)3 organization. Bringing together former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives, O.U.R. partners with local law enforcement agencies around the world to save children from this modern day slavery. Founded by CEO Tim Ballard in 2013, O.U.R. has rescued more than 1,700 victims and helped arrest 858 traffickers worldwide. Learn more at ourrescue.org

About Child Liberation Foundation

The Child Liberation Foundation was founded in February 2017 to fund the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of children who have been forced into human trafficking operations. Through their sanctioned network, CLF raises awareness and provide funds to approved partner charities for the rescue of child trafficking victims. Learn more at liberateachild.org

About Sage Creek at Moab

Bringing together modern architecture and sophisticated design, Sage Creek is the first resort grade premium community of its kind in Moab. Located in the heart of canyon country, Sage Creek is sure to satisfy the most adventurous thrill seekers as well as the visitors who want to simply soak up the rejuvenating energy of the sacred Moabarea nature-scape. The property, which is opening its doors later this year, is the organizer of the first annual Sage Creek Drive in the Desert. Learn more at sagecreekatmoab.com.


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Tel Aviv University and South Florida Local Governments Tackle Florida Stormwater Runoff in Inaugural LocalTAU Pitch Competition

Top scientific teams from Israel’s leading university pitch novel solutions to local crisis in “Shark Tank” style competition; The “Hydro Biofilters” team landed top prize, awarded $20,000 to pilot solution

Press Release – Miami, FLTel Aviv University (TAU), the City of Miami, City of South Miami and City of North Bay Village came together last night to solve one of Florida’s most critical issues: stormwater runoff. In the first-ever LocalTAU competition, TAU professors and students gathered at CIC Miami to pitch their innovative solutions to an audience of nearly 100 people, including South Florida government officials and stakeholders and local and national American Friends of TAU leaders, to help solve a crisis that affects millions of Florida residents. The “Hydro Biofilters” team won first place and $20,000 to begin researching and piloting the practical implementation of their solution.

“For Dr. Yaron Zinger and me, LocalTAU’s pitch competition and meeting with South Florida leaders and officials opened up a new area of the U.S. that urgently needs innovative solutions to water issues, which are intrinsically tied to climate change including sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion, and stormwater of course posing serious threats to the Sunshine State,” said Prof. Dror Avisar. “Winning the competition is icing on the cake. Of course, we want to thank the leadership of LocalTAU and American Friends of TAU. We’re looking forward to the next steps.”

Two teams were selected from 15 applicants to participate, and included:

  • Hydro Biofilters”: Proposes building multi-layered biofilters to direct stormwater away from city streets, purify it and turn it into an easily accessible water resource. Presented by Prof. Dror Avisar and Dr. Yaron Zinger.
  • The Drain Box”: Proposes dividing stormwater runoff: domestic collection from roofs and balconies into home-adjacent containers; municipal collection diverts runoff to an underground infiltration box; and a much smaller portion into the bay. Presented by Ines Zucker, PhD and Gil Nisim, MSc candidate.

The LocalTAU competition used “Shark Tank” style rules. Both teams were given ten minutes to present their innovative solutions and then faced a round of questions from the judges panel. Judges included: Dr. Frances Colón, former highest-ranking Hispanic scientist in the Obama State Department; Col. Alan M. Dodd, director of the City of Miami Department of Resilience and Public Works; Melissa Hew, program manager in the City of Miami Office of Resilience and Sustainability; Denise O’Brien, Chair, North Bay Village Sustainability and Resiliency Task Force; Zac Cosner, City of South Miami sustainability administrator; Tamence Knowles, director of environmental health and safety at FIU; and Michael Rupinski, environmental compliance officer at FIU.

The judges challenged both teams about the sustainability of their potential solutions due to Florida’s frequent hurricanes, issues with coordination and sequencing, concerns about mosquitos and Zika virus and ultimately the cost of implementation.

After 15 minutes of private deliberation, the judges returned to offer their analysis of the proposals and announce the winner. They provided commentary on the pros and cons of each proposals. Ultimately, the judges preferred the Hydro Biofilters proposal citing its low cost and sustainability.

Amanpour & Company correspondent Alicia Menendez served at the moderator of the event. LocalTAU founders Vinna Katz and Romina Ruiz-Goiriena provided introductory remarks. Special guests Mr. Guy Gilady, Deputy Consul General of Israel in Miami, and Clement Erbmann, national chairman of American Friends of Tel Aviv University also spoke briefly.

The host committee included: Romi Bhatia, executive director of Idea Center at Miami Dade College; Dave Doebler, cofounder of Volunteercleanup.org; Sarah Emmons, managing director of Radical Partners; Albert Gomez, head of superNATURE; TJ Marston, principal at Plot Studio and instructor at FIU; Dara Schoenwald, cofounder and executive director of Volunteercleanup.org; Rachel Streitfeld, Esq., founder and managing partner of Bright Side Legal; Caiti Waks, Esq., cofounder and president of Debris Free Oceans; Jeremy Waks, cofounder of Debris Free Oceans.

About LocalTAU

LocalTAU is a young leadership program that offers engaged, passionate leaders the opportunity to identify local issues and source innovative solutions from world renowned TAU research through an annual pitch competition. In the process, it creates awareness, community and synergy between TAU and young activists in cities across the United States. LocalTAU uses a self-funded grant model to bridge philanthropy and startup methodologies – i.e. pitch competitions, pilots, agile adaptation.

The South Florida collaboration is the first LocalTAU Pitch Competition and is produced in coordination with American Friends of Tel Aviv University.

About American Friends of Tel Aviv University

American Friends of Tel Aviv University supports Israel’s most influential, comprehensive and sought-after center of higher learning, Tel Aviv University (TAU). TAU is recognized around the world for creating an innovative, entrepreneurial culture that generates inventions, startups and economic development in Israel. TAU is ranked 8th in the world, and first in Israel, for producing startup founders of billion-dollar companies. Tel Aviv University researchers rank #1 in Israel in producing patents, are first in the world to print a 3D heart with human tissue, and rank #4 in innovation in the world.


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Eight New Audacious Projects Revealed Live from the TED Conference

In Audacious’ Second Year, Trailblazing Ideas Span Criminal Justice, Data Technology, Climate and Ocean Protection, Education, Global Health and Scientific Discovery

2019 Projects Include: Center for Policing Equity, Educate Girls, Institute for Protein Design, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the END Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Thorn and Waterford UPSTART

Press Release – The TED Conference/Vancouver, B.C. (April 16, 2019)The Audacious Project has broken last year’s record and raised more than $280 million to help fund eight thrilling projects aimed at tackling some of the world’s toughest challenges. Launched in April 2018 with a mission to foster “collaborative philanthropy for bold ideas,” The Audacious Project is a coalition of leading organizations and individuals. It is housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading, and operated with support from The Bridgespan Group—a leading social impact advisor to nonprofits and NGOs, philanthropists and investors. This year’s eight successfully funded projects were distilled from more than 1,500 applications.

“I’m thrilled to introduce another class of social entrepreneurs with jaw-dropping visions of a better future and vetted blueprints for the successful execution of their ideas,” said Chris Anderson, Head of TED. “At a time when many people are fearful about humanity’s prospects, these projects offer a beautiful counter-narrative of ingenuity, determination and hope.”

According to Bridgespan’s Chairman and Co-founder Tom Tierney: “It is incredibly exciting to see The Audacious Project turbocharging such outstanding leaders and bold aspirations; these collaborations are unleashing philanthropic capital, at scale, against some of the world’s most pressing issues.”

Today, The Audacious Project class of 2019 took to the TED stage to reveal their world-changing projects—all of them with a convincing path to execution, scale and impact.

THE 2019 PROJECTS

What if science could eliminate racial bias in policing?
Center for Policing Equity plans to use data-capture technology to bring measurable behavior changes to police departments that collectively serve 100 million people a year—approximately one in three Americans—by 2024.

“Racism is not about what we feel, but what we do,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, President and Co-founder of Center for Policing Equity. “If we define the problem as feelings, then fixing it requires collective salvation. When we define the problem as measurable behaviors, new solutions are possible.”

What if we could empower more than one million girls to enter the classroom?
Educate Girls is partnering with 35,000 village-based volunteers to address collective mindsets and persuade parents and elders in remote, rural communities of India to register all out-of-school girls for school and support them so that they stay enrolled.

“Girls’ education is the most important investment we can all make to change things around us,” said Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director of Educate Girls. “We are extremely pleased to partner with The Audacious Project to accelerate the achievement of development goals by ensuring over one million out-of-school girls find their way back into the classrooms—a place where they truly belong.”

What if we could harness the power of proteins to create the next generation of medicines and materials?
As a leader in the field of computational protein design for almost two decades, Institute for Protein Design is poised to usher in a scientific revolution that can fundamentally change how drugs, vaccines, fuels and new materials are made.

“Learning how to design new proteins from first principles is enabling us to take bold new approaches to current challenges in medicine and nanotechnology,” said David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Protein Design.

What if plants can help slow climate change?
Plants already remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and convert it into oxygen and biomass. The Salk Institute for Biological Studies believes it can make plants even better at capturing and storing carbon in their roots in a long-lived molecule called suberin—better known as cork.

“One approach to fighting climate change is hiding in plain sight—in the plants that surround us,” said Joanne Chory, Professor and Director of Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory. “At Salk, we want to coach plants to function at the level of Olympic athletes to increase their carbon storage. We believe we have the molecular tools and the grit to fight climate change and make the world a better place, now and for generations to come.”

What if we could massively reduce disease from parasitic worms in Africa?
Over the next six years, the END Fund proposes to bring deworming treatment to 100 million people and support partnerships to increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene education—disrupting worms’ hold on families, communities and economies.

“We are honored to partner with The Audacious Project to help accelerate progress towards eliminating intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, which cause infections that have held back human prosperity for centuries,” said Ellen Agler, CEO of the END Fund. “Thanks to this catalytic investment, the END Fund has the opportunity to address key challenges of treatment delivery and integration, empowering local stakeholders in some of the world’s poorest areas to do something that’s never been done before: eliminate intestinal worms and schistosomiasis for good, ensuring people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

What if island nations’ debt could be restructured to protect vast areas of ocean?
The Nature Conservancy could protect 4 million square kilometers of the ocean over the next five years by buying up the debt of 20 island and coastal nations—in exchange for governments’ commitment to using the savings to protect at least 30% of their marine areas.

“We know how to save the world’s oceans, but we need to start now,” said Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “With funding through The Audacious Project, we can quickly launch our plan to bring together governments, local communities, science and innovative financing to dramatically scale up marine conservation—before it’s too late.”

What if we could eliminate child sexual abuse from the internet?
The sexual abuse of children is a human problem, but the explosion in online child sexual abuse and the distribution of child sexual abuse imagery (child pornography) is a technology problem that demands a technology-led response. Thorn was built to address this specific technology gap.

“Thorn’s Audacious goal is to eliminate child sexual abuse material from the internet by empowering those on the front lines with the technology and data they need to find children faster, and end the viral circulation of violent abuse content before it starts,” said Julie Cordua, CEO of Thorn. “The size of this problem is growing each year exponentially, and we need to take urgent, decisive action. The time is now to address this growing public health crisis.”

What if every child came to school on day one ready to learn?
Waterford UPSTART hopes to provide access to early education to 250,000 children across the country. Waterford UPSTART empowers parents through proactive family coaching and provides personalized learning for every child, preparing them for kindergarten.

“Today, in the United States, there are 2.2 million children without access to early education—that’s nearly half our country’s 4-year-olds! Waterford UPSTART is a solution that provides these unserved and underserved children with the support and access they need to be ready for their first day of school,” said Claudia Miner, Executive Director and Co-founder of Waterford UPSTART.

THE AUDACIOUS COALITION

The Audacious Project invites visionary social entrepreneurs and nonprofits to dream bigger than they ever imagined—and to shape those dreams into multi-year plans that are viable and sustainable. The project invites donors to pool resources and work together in service of these ambitious ideas.

Now in its second year, The Audacious Project has shown what humanity can accomplish when bold ideas meet visionary, generous supporters. From the thousands of people at home with their families—instead of in jails—because of The Bail Project, to 23 million Ghanaians living in the first sub-Saharan African country to eliminate trachoma because of help from Sightsavers, to the 800,000 small-holder farmers making a better living through the One Acre Fund, to the thousands of new trekkers signing up to take control of their health and well-being with GirlTrek, people in countries around the world are already feeling the positive ripples of this collaborative venture.

“Last year, we launched a new and bold chapter in philanthropic collaboration,” said Anna Verghese, Executive Director of The Audacious Project. “Through extensive research and a unique vetting process, we were confident that the organizations involved would ignite change. But to witness the impact of their ideas, after just one year, speaks to the heart of the project—and to the transformative power of working together.”

A remarkable group of individuals and organizations play a key role in facilitating the initiative. Among them are the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, Scott Cook and Signe Ostby of the Valhalla Charitable Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Laura & John Arnold, ELMA Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Mike & Sukey Novogratz, Joe Gebbia, Delta Philanthropies, Steve and Genevieve Jurvetson, Miguel McKelvey & Jessica Hyman, Hansjörg Wyss & Rosamund Zander, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Clara Wu and Joe Tsai Foundation, Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam, and Overdeck Family Foundation. The Science Philanthropy Alliance helps to identify and vet high-quality basic science projects.

Learn more, support an existing project or watch the reveal of the 2019 projects at AudaciousProject.org. The livestream will remain available for one week.

ABOUT TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, including our annual gathering in Vancouver, as well as TEDWomen, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on TED.com and other platforms. Audio versions of the talks from TED2019 will also be published to TED’s podcast TED Talks Daily, available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; the Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TEDSummit, which gathers the most engaged members of the global TED community for brainstorms, discussions, performances, workshops and an eclectic program of mainstage talks; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also has a library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, Sincerely, X, and one of Apple Podcasts’ most downloaded new shows of 2018, WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED, on Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted and on Snapchat at tedtalkshq.

ABOUT THE AUDACIOUS PROJECT

The Audacious Project was launched in April 2018, with a mission to foster “collaborative philanthropy for bold ideas.” Housed at TED (the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading) and operated with support from The Bridgespan Group (a leading social impact advisor to nonprofits and NGOs, philanthropists and investors), The Audacious Project brings together some of the most respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy—the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, Dalio Foundation and more. The Audacious Project surfaces and funds critical projects with the potential to create global change. By removing barriers associated with funding, The Audacious Project empowers social entrepreneurs to dream boldly and take on the world’s biggest and most urgent challenges. The 2019 projects include: Center for Policing Equity, Educate Girls, Institute for Protein Design at the UW School of Medicine, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the END Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Thorn and Waterford UPSTART.


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