Meet Our 2020 Nonprofit Innovation Lab Fellows

Our 2020 Nonprofit Innovation Lab Fellows are developing innovations that will enable them to bring transformative solutions to the communities they serve. Meet our Fellows here!

College Crusade of Rhode Island
The College Crusade is Rhode Island’s most comprehensive college access and success program. Their mission is to prepare and inspire young people in Rhode Island to become the first in their families to attend and complete college. Their work involves removing or reducing barriers to success and promoting equity and opportunity for more than 4,000 Rhode Island students from six urban communities across the state. Through their participation in the Nonprofit Innovation Lab program, they plan to address a major challenge facing the Crusade and participating students – the elimination of their robust scholarship program. They hope to develop strategies for advancing the Crusade’s mission as this critical asset is phased out.

Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island
Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island works to empower refugees and immigrants in the
community by providing vital programs and services for citizenship and immigration, education, employment, refugee resettlement and translating and interpreting to help the people it serves to thrive and be successful. Pinpoint Translation Services is a division of Dorcas International Institute of RI. They are working on transforming their onsite Community Interpreting Training into an online Community Interpreting Training, which will be vital to supporting the growing demand for qualified and certified interpreters.

Fuerza Laboral
Fuerza Laboral develops leaders to confront social injustice. As workers themselves are on the front lines of the injustices they face, they are the best equipped to solve their problems through powerful and creative actions that obtain concrete results. Through educational programs and hands-on activities in cooperative development, Fuerza Laboral will work to create a pathway for low-income workers to create their own successful and socially responsible businesses in industries that traditionally have been exploitative to minorities and other vulnerable groups.

Genesis Center
Genesis Center’s mission is to provide the highest quality education, job training, and support services to people of diverse cultures so that they may achieve economic independence and participate fully in society. Genesis Center plans to develop a food enterprise that will redesign the culinary arts training program model from a traditional classroom setting to paid “on the job” training. This shift will better meet the needs of unemployed and underemployed residents in the community while strengthening the local economy.

House of Hope CDC
House of Hope Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 in Warwick, Rhode Island. Their mission is to prevent and end homelessness in the state and end the personal and social trauma of homelessness. They create affordable housing delivered with life changing services and work with other advocates for policies to ensure that everyone can have a safe, stable home. House of Hope CDC is working to create a tiny house village as an innovative way to combat the affordable housing crisis here in Rhode Island, address social determinants of health, and that is ultimately a place of healing as a fresh start for those who are homeless.

Impact Rhode Island
Impact Rhode Island provides access to education, coaching, mental health and training courses to underprivileged Rhode Island residents. Impact Rhode Island’s goal is to influence and provide guidance to program participants on the importance of education, entrepreneurship, and homeownership. Their programs will create self-sufficiency and increased economic impact on Rhode Island’s neighborhoods. The organization is a licensed RI Real Estate School and will be offering several other educational programs. Impact Rhode Island’s plan will allow the organization to use earned revenues to provide funding for our beneficent programs and allow us to offer scholarships to participants.

Man Up, Inc.
Man Up, Inc. provides a broad range of economic development opportunities, resources and support services to adult men of color, who have not been afforded the opportunity to aspire to more progressive goals; while simultaneously addressing the social, financial and legal issues that create barriers to high-wage/career track employment. Man Up, Inc.’s plan is to start an indoor Hydroponic Vegetable business that–will not only provide financial sustainability to the organization but–will also provide additional training and high-wage employment opportunities for the population they serve.

Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island
Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) provides innovative and empowering education programs at sea and ashore to promote personal and professional development, civic engagement and ocean literacy, while raising awareness of opportunities in the Maritime Industry, Marine Trades, and Defense Sector for the communities of Rhode Island and Southern New England. The organization operates Rhode Island’s Flagship and Tall Ship Ambassador, the Sailing School Vessel OLIVER HAZARD PERRY. The Perry Corp Program seeks to provide training, experience, and credentials to participants while positioning them to take advantage of job opportunities that can lead to economic sustainability, community involvement and environmental stewardship, all the while contributing to the growth of the Rhode Island economy.

Progreso Latino
Progreso Latino’s mission is to deliver transformational programs that assist individuals in achieving their professional and civic goals. Progreso Latino offers a comprehensive adult education and workforce development program that incorporates a fairly new Job Club. Progreso Latino’s Job Club is a project that mainly benefits individuals with language and other barriers who are seeking employment. The agency is exploring innovative ways to monetize some of its services in order to make the project sustainable in the long-term. The project benefits from community volunteers, workers’ mutual support, and employer partnerships. However, these are areas that can be further explored and maximized.

Smith Hill CDC
The Smith Hill Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Smith Hill and its neighboring communities. This is achieved through the development and management of quality low to moderate income housing, with a focus on meeting the affordability needs of their residents. Smith Hill CDC’s innovative idea is to demonstrate how the combination of affordable housing and social services provides a more beneficial experience to residents, especially those who are survivors of adverse experiences. They plan to pilot this idea through the two phases of the Smith Hill Cornerstone, which seeks to cultivate a place of belonging where all people have the opportunity to live, learn, work, and/or play.

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