Less than three months after it began, Inspire Mountain View Grant awards were presented to applicants who most inspired public voters with their proposals to make Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community, and a better place to live and work. Inspire Mountain View organizers also announced grant award funding had increased, allowing the number of grant awards to expand from the originally planned three, to a total of nine grant awards totaling $525k. What an amazingly generous community we live in and a big 'Thank You' to Google LinkedIn, Symantec and Synopsis for their generous donations that made all of this possible.
The nine Inspire Mountain View Challenge winners include:
$25k—Avenidas Generations Lab: Avenidas Generations Lab will provide older adults and their families in Mountain View with technology to aid them in living independently and with dignity.
"The Avenidas Generations Lab Mountain View will expose older adults and their families living and working in MV to adaptive technologies and emerging technologythat help them maintain or improve health, keep them engaged, and make their homes safer. As many people find themselves caring for an aging loved one, technology can also help them feel less isolated in their role and provide peace of mind when working or leaving an elderly family member alone. Locally as we address the challenge of age friendly communities, technology can help make Mountain View a much more inclusive community."
$25k—Community School of Music & Arts: CSMA will host a three-day electronic music festival to engage the community at the intersection of technology and music. I'm looking forward to this!
"The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) will organize and host the first ever three day electronic music festival and symposium in Mountain View. The event will bring together diverse constituencies who live and/or work in Mountain View to create a new sense of community through shared music performances and workshops. Local high school and college students, tech workers, musicians, and enthusiasts of all music genres will engage at CSMA to enjoy the performances, workshops and panel discussions exploring electronic music and the future of music technology. The interactive, three day festival will establish Mountain View as an innovative hub for the discussion of music and technology."
$25k—Mission Be Inc: Mission Be will host a four-week series of Parent Nights to train parents and caregivers in mindfulness and compassion skills.
"Mission Be will host several series of mindfulness classes to different groups in the Mountain View community. Parents and caretakers will learn mindfulness and compassion skills during a four week course. Community members and business leaders will experience how to practice mindfulness and compassionate actions in the community in a four week course. Students in sixteen K-12 grade classrooms will learn about mindfulness and neuroscience and how to be more present and responsive in a digital world. They will then learn how to increase their practice of compassion towards themselves and others, followed by how to practice mindfulness rooted in courage and altruism in the world."
$50k—Youth Drama for All: Mountain View Drama for All will produce Mountain View Act for Good performing arts workshop series to unite people of all abilities, fostering empathy and inspiring an inclusive community.
"Mountain View Act for Good will deepen empathy and strengthen connections across the special needs and broader Mountain View community by utilizing performing arts to build interpersonal skills. The program will develop skills for interacting with others that act/look differently, use improvisational and problem-solving techniques to expand resiliency and confidence, strengthen relationships and friendships across the community, build awareness and self-insight about how brains are wired differently, and provide communication strategies for adults and youth of all abilities. Bridging the gaps between these communities will ultimately benefit us all."
$50k—Canopy with Living Classroom: Eco-Schoolyards will create model ecological schoolyards using urban landscapes to support local ecology at two Mountain View-Whisman school district campuses.
"This program will create model ecological schoolyards at two local campuses using landscapes that support our local ecology, eventually leading to eco-schoolyards on all Mountain View Whisman School District campuses. This will make our community a better place to learn, work, and play for thousands of school children and their families as well as the broader community. Eco-schoolyards will empower students and residents as environmental stewards within their communities, inspiring a deeper understanding of how a sustainable and healthy living environment can be supported through islands of biodiversity in schools and throughout our community."
Accompanying lessons and after-school activities will address the socioeconomic green gap, engaging all students equitably in environmental and citizen science while providing enriching experiences near nature.
$50k—Alta Vista HS and Olimpico Learning: This program will bring together Alta Vista High School students to be peer-mentors to 250 younger students in Olimpico Leadership summer camps in Mountain View, and provide the opportunity for those peer-mentors to interact with tech industry volunteer role-models.
"Olimpico Learning will bring together Mountain View to inspire students in the innovative, technology centric pipeline project - Build Your Vision. Alta Vista high school students will learn 3D printing to develop a prototype for cost-effective prescription eyeglass frames. Through this social justice project, Olimpico Learning and Alta Vista will partner with local schools, non-profits and the optical industry to provide feedback on our critically needed, cost-effective frame prototypes for low-income students and adults -essential as proper visual acuity is necessary for effective participation in school and day-to-day activities. Alta Vista students in the Olimpico Leadership Academy will also work as peer-mentors to 250 K-5 students in Olimpico summer camps in Mountain View, and will interact with, and gain inspiration from technology and optical industry volunteer role-models. We will promote STEAM to Mountain View's future community leaders using 3D printing technology in Build Your Vision, to create a pay-it-forward mentality in our youth."
$100k—Mountain View Working Scholars: This program will provide individuals who work or live in Mountain View the opportunity to attain a no-cost Bachelor’s degree. Can you imagine receiving a Bachelors Degree for free in Silicon Valley? Now just think about how much that will change the life of the student.
"There is a tremendous amount of wealth in Mountain View and the rest of the Bay Area; however, not everyone is sharing in this prosperity and the income inequality gap continues to increase. Mountain View Working Scholars believes that the most efficient and sustainable way to close this gap is through education. Our program utilizes an innovative college course delivery platform and a public university partnership to drastically lower the cost of a college degree. With the total cost of our regionally accredited Bachelor's degree lowered to roughly $4, 000 per person, we can use this grant to provide free Bachelor's degree to about 25 students. This community-sourced education is a true expression of compassion, as it calls on the successful members of our community to help those with less opportunity and provide them with the tools for a better economic future."
$100k—Soulforce Leadership: This program will train youth and community leaders to take action on local issues using mindfulness, compassion and nonviolence.
"Soulforce Leadership believes youth are a powerful force for social change. Youth leaders provide the moral authority to look at the pains we are not willing to look at and the imagination to dream up what is possible for the future. This grant will enable us to expand our youth leadership work from 1 cohort to 2 cohorts (25 to 50 leaders) as well as lead a new cohort of 25 parent leaders. We will also build a technology platform to share best practices. Our approach is to create a year-long incubator, beginning with an intensive retreat over several days followed by monthly Soulforce Circles. We cultivate the necessary mindsets & values in our leaders, and provide practical tools and training to make change in the world, in the context of a supportive, inspiring community. Our leaders will take consistent, micro-actions to advance the causes they are working on in small teams. Together our leaders will look inward, listen deeply, notice injustice, and foster love (our 4 core values.)"
$100k—Community Services Agency: Community Services’ Access to Nutrition program will provide bi-weekly deliveries of fresh fruits, vegetables and high-protein foods with recipes and educational materials to 350 families.
"This is an especially uncertain time for low-income families living in Mountain View, many of whom are facing uncertain futures due to the rapidly rising cost of living combined with a precarious political landscape. The Access to Nutrition program will take one huge challenge off their plates by providing fresh, healthy food on a regular basis to 300-350 families whose children are enrolled in the free and reduced fee lunch program at four local elementary schools. Grant funds will allow CSA to continue and expand a program currently at Castro and Mistral Schools to include families at Theuerkauf and Monta Loma Schools. The program entails securing fresh fruits, vegetables and high-protein foods and delivering them bi-weekly with recipes and educational materials during hours convenient for working parents."
The Inspire Mountain View Challenge was sponsored by Google, LinkedIn, Symantec and Synopsys. Additional funding to increase the grant awards was provided by Google.
“We couldn’t have done this challenge without the support of all four companies. Google, LinkedIn, Symantec and Synopsys all have been instrumental in making the idea of inspiring innovative community projects a reality,” said Joe Eyre, managing director of the Inspire Mountain View Challenge. “Google’s increased funding demonstrates the company’s interest in the proposals and commitment to supporting Mountain View.”
The Inspire Mountain View Challenge received 40 proposals, from which a panel of judges selected 18 finalists for public voting. Public voting ran for three weeks in April, during which several thousand registered votes were cast.
Inspire Mountain View challenged applicants to submit proposals to make Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community, and a better place to live and work. Additional criteria for selecting winners included:
• Innovation and creativity
• Feasibility of project to be completed within 12 months
• Measurable impact
The Inspire Mountain View Community Challenge was open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and to individuals, government agencies, or for-profit organizations that partner with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Programs that are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit were also eligible to apply.
Inspire Mountain View is managed by Los Altos Community Foundation, which serves the communities of Los Altos and Mountain View. For more information visit http://losaltoscf.org/.