Bay Area Inspire Awards: 2017-2018 Winners

 In Bay Area Inspire Awards

At the beginning of 2018, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation will award $5,000 grants to six young Bay Area residents with fresh ideas for building better communities. These awards are made possible through a community initiative called the Bay Area Inspire Awards, which provides grants to 18-30 year olds in San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. The awards are meant to inspire innovative ideas for improving social equality and provide the financial support to help make these ideas a reality.

We awarded grants to six individuals in 2014 and eight individuals in 2016.

Here are the six winners for the 2017-2018 round:


Tiphereth Banks
Sauti: Therapeutic Art Workshops for Youth
Alameda County

Using art and its ability to heal emotional wounds, Tiphereth will host monthly art therapeutic workshops for Bay Area youth who have overcome traumatic experiences, focusing on foster youth and incarcerated youth, from the ages of 10 and older.


Eugene “Ace” Johnson
Talent Tour – Talent Shows at Oakland High Schools
Alameda County

Ace will produce talent showcases in underserved schools within urban communities as a positive outlet and platform for creative expression. These talent shows will involve the community and empower students to use their gifts and talents to express the issues they face and change the world.

Connie Liu
Project Invent: Students Designing for Social Good
San Mateo County

Connie aims to empower high school students across the Bay Area to invent towards a better community. In her project, students will invent solutions to problems like homelessness and poor education while developing design and engineering skills along the way.


Ahzha McFadden
Menlo-Atherton Ecology Research Outdoors (MERO) Science Program
San Mateo County

Ahzha is expanding an after school science program (that she started last year) aiming to provide a fun and supportive community for high school English Language Learners and help them develop the academic and communication skills needed to excel in high school and beyond.

Bay Area Inspire Awards: 2017-2018 Winners

Samantha Solomon
Build Your Own Computer Lab – Supporting Emerging Tech Leaders
Alameda County

Samantha’s project is about giving students access to computers and providing students with the opportunity to better understand how computers work. Middle and high school students will build their own computers, which will then be used for a computer lab in the library and as tools for students who want to learn coding and pursue more work with technology.


Claudia Luz Suarez
Our Story, Our Lens: Faces of the Undocumented
Alameda County

Collaborating with and training migrant youth, Claudia will create a documentary series that focuses on the acts of representation, remembering, and archiving of the undocumented experiences of migrants who are often ignored by media due to age, nationality, or status.

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