NBCU Impact Grant awardees
MONA AMIN // A former youth advocate for Clinton Global Initiative and a Special Leadership Assistant at East Carolina University, Mona created Freshspire, a mobile app that connects customers in real time to local grocer markdowns on perishable foods. Her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact grant will allow her to host a Hult Prize quarterfinal round on East Carolina University’s campus, an opportunity for her community to participate in an international start-up accelerator competition for budding young social entrepreneurs.
FABIAN ELLIOTT // An experienced advertising technology consultant from Chicago, Fabian is the founder of his organization, Black Tech Mecca, has a focused niche in tech ecosystem building through strengthening connections within the black tech community. With the Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Fabian intends to compound the State of the Black Tech Ecosystem Report, a comprehensive summary intended to provide thought leadership on the current state and future trends of the Black Tech diaspora in the field of academia and corporate representation.
PHILLIP ELLISON // A recipient of the Tufts Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service, the first place winner in the Social Impact Track of the Tufts 100k New Venture Competition, Phillip is completed the Hive Global Leadership program in addition to a Year of Service with City Year. Thanks in part to a Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Philip will start Community College Students: Transfer, Service and Entrepreneurship, a mobile app/website that will simulate the user’s mobile experience to innovate current college student engagement systems and processes.
TERRY HWANG // An alumna of the UCLA International Institute, Terry Hwang is passionate about the intersection of art, culture, media, and positive social change. Terry is utilizing her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant funds to found Making Space: Art, Place and Community, a website that shines a light on creative place-making for art focused on making a positive impact.
ADRIAN LIEVANO // A Miami native and recipient of the inaugural President’s Engagement Prize at the University of Pennsylvania, Adrian is co-founded Everwaters, a company pioneering the use of plant-based water treatment technology to bring affordable, household-water filter products to communities with water-related illnesses. The Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant awarded to Adrian and Everwaters will help film and produce a video to help market Everwaters’ message.
HANNAH MIXDORF // After receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver, Hannah launched Inspire Colorado, a youth-led movement of high school students in Colorado who register their peers to vote and lead them to the polls. Hannah now works as a National Program Manager for Inspire U.S., where she is creating Inspire2Vote, a social media and video campaign documenting the efforts of seven politically active students engaged in peer-to-peer community organizing. Hannah will use the funds of her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant to the continue developing materials that can amplify Inspire2Vote’s message to young people all across the country.
DEVIN PEEK // A visual designer at IDEO in California, Devin founded Feeding the Giant, a ten-story, multiplatform collection of stories chronicling the stagnant wages, inability for upward advancement, and lack of paid sick leave for food workers in the restaurant industry. With her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant Devin intends to showcase stories from workers in varying geographic regions who represent diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities.
NATALIE ROPER // The Executive Director of Generation West Virginia (GWV) with an interdisciplinary background in nonprofit administration, grassroots advocacy, and social innovation, Natalie will utilize her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant to create Key Strategies in Young Talent Retention, an online toolkit that will assist small companies in local communities eager for strategies to better attract and retain talent in their regions.
COURTNEY SMITH // A member of the National Youth Advisory Council, two-time recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award, a recipient of the Women of Excellence Award and a Road to Completion Scholar, she has been featured in USA Today, Break Thru Radio and appeared on the Katie Couric Show as a “Success Story” with the Challenge for Change in Detroit, Courtney is the founder of the Detroit Phoenix Center. With this Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Courtney will pilot the first Asset Based Resource Center in Detroit, focusing on providing services for surrounding community youth suffering from homeless.
ALYSSA SOLOMON // A New England native, Alyssa is creating the Old Sol Music Hall, a not-for-profit concert venue and community center in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. Before moving to Manchester, Alyssa served as an organizer for the nonprofit organization Calling All Crows and worked as a sound engineer in Burlington, Vermont. With help from her Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Alyssa will be attending a six-week intensive mentorship program at the UC Theatre in Berkeley, California that will coach her in operating a new nonprofit performance venue.
JUSTIN VANDENBROECK // A graduate of Florida State University and an advisor on the Energy Board of United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Justin founded Fleet Farming, a decentralized, community supported, agriculture system which converts homeowner lawns and underutilized land into mini organic urban farms. Fleet Farming will be utilizing this Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant to create a published operations manual to share the tools to help build the Fleet Farming network around the world.
RANDI GLOSS // A social entrepreneur and activist, Randi launched GLOSSRAGS Goes There, a series of pop-up shops and community talk-backs on social issues. Moved by the people she met and stories she heard, Randi plans to utilize the Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant to create a multi-part web series titled “The Conscious Chronicles” on the black experience in America and will host screenings in the cities she visited during the MTP journey.
KATLYN GRASSO // Katlyn is the founder of GenHERation: a female empowerment network for high school-aged girls. Leveraging community partnerships formed during the train journey and funds from Katlyn’s Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, GenHERation will host an upcoming Summer Leadership Series that will feature influential female speakers from various industries. The speakers will be featured in webisodes on GenHERation’s website and distributed to high schools across America.
MACEO KEELING // A former soldier and Bronze Star Veteran, Maceo founded a media platform as a place where change-makers, activists, and entrepreneurs could gather and discuss social issues. With his Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Maceo will be publishing his third magazine edition of CORRESPONDENCE for Citizens of Culture, featuring the 2015 participants and the impact they are having in their communities.
ERIN SPENCER // A National Geographic Young Explorer, Erin is focused on identifying creative solutions to invasive species management across the US. With the Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant she intends to share stories of individuals involved in invasive species management and establish an online marketplace that sells products derived from the results of those initiatives, including items such as lionfish spine earrings or honey harvested from invasive species of bees.
BRITTANY VAN NESS // Brittany has created the Nourish and Thrive Initiative with hopes to establish a place that will streamline guidance on health and nutritional practices for cancer patients. With the knowledge gained during her meetings with representatives from integrative health centers, Brittany plans to use the Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant to develop an on-line toolkit for patients to maximize nutrition during recovery.
MARZENA ZUKOWSKA // A communications professional and community activist based in Washington, D.C., Marzena is using her experience as a formerly undocumented immigrant to foster equity and inclusiveness in the immigrant community. With the Comcast NBCUniversal Impact Grant, Marzena will launch a prototype of Opportunity Pipeline: an inclusive professional development network for Millennial immigrants, who are interested in building careers as freelance creatives and professionals.