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By September 9, 2021No Comments

Serve & Connect is proud to announce it has been selected to participate in Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program, a management training and peer-learning program to help nonprofits grow, scale, and replicate their success. Serve & Connect is one of 13 nonprofits chosen to join the growing community of 212 organizations across nearly all 50 states, transforming the lives of more than 1 million Americans through bottom-up empowerment.  

Serve & Connect was selected from among hundreds of nonprofit organizations through an extensive vetting process and accepted into the program after a rigorous evaluation. Nonprofits selected into Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program are recognized for delivering exceptional results, demonstrating “outside-the-box” thinking, and embracing community-driven and people-centered approaches. Program criteria also include proven outcomes and the potential for scale and cultural impact.  

“We can’t wait for this remarkable group of 13 nonprofit leaders to join our community of changemakers,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of Stand Together Foundation. “They were selected because of their innovative strategies that empower people to escape poverty. It’s an honor to help them maximize and expand their impact across the country.” 

“We are thrilled to join Stand Together Foundation’s prestigious Catalyst Program,” shared Kassy Alia Ray, Serve & Connect Founder & CEO. “We are energized to be a part of a community that so wholly embraces the values which serve as the bedrock of our mission. We look forward to growing and learning together as we create, implement and scale innovative solutions that create lasting change for communities across our country.”

Stand Together Foundation is dedicated to supporting bottom-up solutions that empower those in poverty. The Catalyst Program will help equip Serve & Connect’s leaders with new tools and approaches to deepen its impact and expand its reach. The program serves as an on-ramp to long-term partnership with Stand Together Foundation, including principles-based management coaching, leadership development, operational support, and access to a community of entrepreneurial peers, influential philanthropists, and business leaders. 

Serve & Connect will join 12 other social entrepreneur-led organizations in its cohort experience, which officially kicks off on September 22, 2021. The following is a full list of the latest nonprofits to join Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Community: 

Black Men Heal provides complimentary therapy sessions to Black and Brown men seeking mental health care. Minority men are especially susceptible to mental health conditions yet face a variety of barriers that disallow them from receiving needed care. Black Men Heal helps these individuals overcome these barriers, matches them with Black and Brown mental health clinicians, and encourages the men to openly share their mental health experiences with their peers. This serves to destigmatize the topic of mental health, paving the way for more men in the community to seek care and find their own healing.  

Brink uses the power of storytelling to help incarcerated individuals reclaim their personal narratives, remove barriers to their personal development, and change public perceptions in the process. The prevailing narrative around incarcerated and marginalized communities focuses on deficiencies and failings, but Brink offers its participants a chance to reclaim their narrative through the creation of short graphic memoirs to improve their social-emotional well-being.  

HNC’s purpose is to transform the social sector so that communities across the country are empowered to lead their own change from within, rather than relying on “big box” solutions that don’t fit. By building a comprehensive pathway of technical infrastructure and organizational support, HNC helps community leaders build the highly effective organizations they need to create deep and lasting impact in their communities.  

  • HANDY (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)   

HANDY provides individualized life coaching and employment opportunities to neglected youth to help them discover their unique gifts and realize their own version of success. HANDY’s family-like support system empowers youth as they transition into a post-secondary environment and adulthood, providing customized programs focused on education, youth development, and economic self-sufficiency. HANDY transforms the traditional casework approach from adult-led to youth-led, enabling participants to take their future into their own hands.  

JUMPSTART helps people leaving prison to forever stay out of prison by developing a sense of purpose through Christian discipleship and service. JUMPSTART understands that individuals require holistic support (mind, body, and spirit) before and after their release, as well as access to stable housing and employment, if they are to successfully transition back into society. The program’s unique peer-to-peer accountability and assessment model enables participants to support each other’s personal development.   

National Angels builds a community of support around fostering families to alleviate burnout and reduce instability for kids. In response to the existing foster care system, in which 33% of youth who age out of care have been in 3+ placements, National Angels demonstrates that children and youth with fewer placements and more stability have better long-term outcomes. They have a vision to scale their innovative trauma-informed, holistic wrap-around service model across the nation and help all children experiencing foster care reach their full potential, and they use the local community to do it.    

The One America Movement believes that healthy faith institutions lead to more resilient and prosperous communities. At a time when many congregations are fractured and divided, One America Movement equips faith communities to confront division and work together across political, racial, and religious divides to solve problems that matter. If we work with faith communities to shape positive norms and behaviors within their groups and build cross-cutting identities across religious, racial, and political divides, we will create an America that is more resilient to toxic forms of division and ready to address problems in their neighborhood.  

Reach is a nonprofit university that addresses America’s teacher shortage by creating affordable pathways for high-potential individuals to obtain degrees, credentials, and jobs as teachers in their own communities. By focusing on low-income and rural regions, offering online tutorials and classes, and rendering academic credit for on-the-job experience, Reach University is eliminating barriers to entry in the teaching profession and building pipelines of local talent.  

Serve & Connect facilitates sustainable police-community partnerships to improve community safety, resilience, and wellbeing. Serve & Connect convenes intentional engagements to identify problems and develop collaborative action plans. By involving community and law enforcement in the process, Serve & Connect is offering an alternative to divisive discourse and one-size-fits-all solutions that negatively impact citizens and police officers alike.  

Telos Group works to educate individuals on the deeply rooted issues plaguing our communities. Telos calls those to action that may feel far removed from these issues to wield their influence to enact needed change. Telos organizes immersive trips to areas experiencing conflict, developing teams of peacemakers who can repair relationships and strengthen communities. Telos is working to replace violence, division, and distrust with empathy; training their peacemakers to see others’ struggles as their own; and cultivating the skills that will spark action.  

The Promise Fund drives health equity for uninsured and underinsured women who are at risk of or battling breast and cervical cancer. The Promise Fund creates a culture of health by helping women obtain preventative cancer screenings and become more informed agents of their healthcare journey for diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. The Promise Fund is redefining the care model by advocating for patient-centered care that is high quality, timely, and affordable.  

Ventures is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional employment, particularly women, people of color, immigrants, and people living on lower incomes. Ventures combines training, credit, and asset building, capital products, and coaching to help clients develop microenterprises and achieve financial stability. Its approach meets a critical need for people who are overlooked by traditional nonprofit and financial institutions and removes barriers that keep them from transforming their lives.  

WeThrive unlocks opportunities for underestimated young people of color to explore their entrepreneurial potential. Through an interactive app, WeThrive provides innovative curriculum delivered in group study programs as well as self- paced lesson modules. In contrast to existing entrepreneurship programs that emphasize exclusivity, every WeThrive participant gets access to seed funding and support to bring their ideas to life, including connections to business professionals serving as entrepreneurship mentors. WeThrive’s approach also ensures that every student is set up for success in any endeavor, whether running their own venture, pursuing higher education, or joining the workforce.