The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation works under a guiding principal that collaboration is a necessary component in creating communities that propel growth. During the last year, the foundation celebrated three decades, besides launching a new brand. So, the foundation decided to switch things up, by upping the monies available through its annual 'One Big Thing' grant, which rewards a single deserving entity, or regional project, that the foundation deems as having a positive impact on the social and business fabric of the community.
This year, the foundation made awards available to two deserving entities, culled from the foundation's 23 Early Childhood initiatives and its 26 community foundations. These entities were tasked with explaining how their projects would improve their overall community. They also had to explain how their work exemplified the foundation's mission of fostering collaborative efforts.
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Orane Barrett, a Jamaican-born founder of a New York-based clothing brand called Kool Nerd, gives the term 'nerd’ a whole new meaning. And it’s not just that – Kool Nerd sells t-shirts as a “positive marketing tool to communicate the positive values of today’s nerd and inspire future kool nerds to join the movement.”