Committed to engaging partners in pro-social initiatives that will make an impact in local communities, NBCUniversal has partnered with 4.0 Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving problems in education through innovation.
NBCUniversal and 4.0 Schools recently collaborated to challenge leaders in education, business and civics to find innovative ways for schools to foster leadership development and career progression in New Orleans’s youth.
The results were outstanding. Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, eight teams of social entrepreneurs pitched their ventures to a panel of experts and a live audience for a chance to win a piece of $30,000 in prize money.
After an introduction by 4.0 Schools CEO Matt Candler, the teams took turns sharing their visions in four minute increments, followed by two minutes of feedback from judges and audience members.
Three teams walked away with funding.
John Fraboni and Max Gaudin received $10,000 for Operation Spark, which provides low-income youth with software skills necessary to transition into tech careers and become community leaders.
Larry Irvin and Kristyna Jones, representing Brothers Empowered to Teach, took home $15,000. Brothers Empowered to Teach is an organization that works to incentivize men of color to choose education as their profession through student and career recruiting.
In addition to the judges’ selections, two teams—Operation Spark and unCommon Construction—were recognized with the Audience Award of $2,500 each, chosen by those in attendance. unCommon Construction builds houses with the help of high school students to enrich them with critical job skills; profits of the home sales go towards stipends and scholarships for participating students.
This partnership with 4.0 Schools is a part of NBCUniversal’s pro-social Open Possibilities initiative to enable individual potential and inspire collective action to move people forward.