On July 12th, we announced the 10 most creative and innovative initiatives that will be receiving the $250,000 of the 2017 Improving Lives Grant. Through an economic grant and pro bono consultancies from the IDB employees, this year will improve the lives of more than 3,700 children, youth and adults of the Latin American and Caribbean communities that reside in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This will allow us to double the number of beneficiary organizations and triple the number of beneficiaries with respect to last year’s grant competition.

The process of application and evaluation was done for the first time through the YouNoodle platform, and an internal and external committee was appointed, which was composed of experts in the areas of development, creativity and innovation, which evaluated and praised the 10 selected initiatives amongst the 53 applications from Maryland (11), Virginia (12) and Washington D.C. (30). The quality of the applications received was evidence of how creativity and innovation play a key role when searching for solutions that contribute to the development and surpassing of the challenges faced by the Latin American and Caribbean communities residing in the city.


These are the winning non-profit organizations and initiatives:

  • Brainfood (Washington, DC): Its project, Brainfood Homegrown is a job training program that benefits young adults by training them to build a sustainable enterprise of healthy food products which are now available in 11 local retail outlets.
  • DC Scores (Washington, DC): Harnesses soccer, poetry, and service –learning as vehicles to build skills essential to future academic and professional success: communication, creativity, and initiative.
  • Hispanic Heritage Foundation (Washington, DC): Its program, Code as a Second Language, provides students with the introductory skill set of web-design and computer programming as the pathway to learn more advanced programming language and skills.
  • Horizons Greater Washington (Washington, DC), addresses the achievement gap among low-income Latino students by offering Summer and Saturday Programs that provide a balance of academic subjects (reading, writing, math and humanities) combined with special classes (science, technology, art and music).
  • Identity (Gaithersburg, MD): Youth of Tomorrow supports Latino elementary students who are falling behind in reading while suffering from the effects of unaddressed trauma and lack of access to basic necessities.
  • Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD): Its project: ¡Óyeme! Is a multifaceted collaboration between theatre and social service agencies to improve the lives of young Latin Americans who have escaped violence in their home countries and resettled in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
  • KID Museum, Inc. (Bethesda, MD): Its program, Maker Studio for Youth, sparks interest and engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through making –whether inventing, coding, building, or tinkering.
  • La Clínica del Pueblo (Hyattsville, MD): Its Improving Health Equity through Language Access project will expand its Language Services program to bring these services to an area where patients are linguistically isolated, helping reduce health disparities and improve the quality and efficiency of health care services.
  • Latino Student Fund (Washington, DC): Te Guio and Listo Programs works with 9th-10th grade youth in cohorts to empower them in both their school and home lives to put them on the path to graduate from high school, enroll in higher education, and enable them to transition to a healthy adulthood.
  • Mil Mujeres (Washington, DC): To support Its initiative “We’ve Got Your Back,” which provides comprehensive “Know Your Rights” outreach and education to the Latin American and Caribbean immigrant community.


Congratulations to all the winning organizations! If you are interested in applying to next year’s 2018 Improving Lives Grant, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

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