Junior Achievement, an organization that works with schools to help students manage finances and foster entrepreneurial thinking, was awarded a grant of $34,050 at the Albuquerque Community Foundation’s Great Grant Giveaway on March 29. (Courtesy Kimberly Jackson Photography)

Five nonprofit organizations received a combined $129,475 during Thursday’s Great Grant Giveaway sponsored by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

More than 730 people who attended the event at the Hotel Albuquerque, heard presentations about the work each of the organizations does in the community, and then each table decided which of the organizations would get that table’s check for $500.

The biggest winner was Junior Achievement, which received $34,050. It was followed by Encuentro, which got $27,445; Working Classroom, with $23,945; New Space New Mexico, $23,465; and Barelas Community Coalition with $20,570.

The Anderson Charitable Foundation offered a special grant opportunity for Pennies for the Homeless by matching the $7,000 attendees raised at the event with another $7,000 for a total gift of $14,000.

“These nonprofit organizations have varying missions or serve different populations, but at the heart of what they do lies the dedication to support the people of Albuquerque and the passion to make our community thrive for generations to come,” said Randall Royster, CEO of the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

The theme of this year’s grant giveaway was “common ground.” Royster said that Albuquerque’s diversity rich and creates “a stronger whole when individuals, organizations, companies and communities bring new perspectives together and establish common ground for the greater good.”

Junior Achievement works in partnership with schools to prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to manage finances and apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. This year, the organization is working specifically with Bernalillo High School, APS Indian Education Department and Native American Community Academy to extend financial literacy and work readiness curricula to Native American high school students.

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Encuentro’s Home Health Aide program aligns a workforce of primarily Latina immigrants with the fastest growing industry in New Mexico — senior home health services. Participants enroll in a rigorous 15-week course, developed in partnership with CNM, that provides educational attainment, employment matching and culturally responsive partnerships with industry and higher education institutions.

Working Classroom is a multi-ethnic, inter-generational community of student and professional artists, writers, actors and directors with a commitment to supporting new and diverse voices and visions in the arts. Students are paid for their work and internships so they can invest in continuing education or build their creative entrepreneurial skills. Working Classroom also partners with Prosperity Works, where students and their families can open matched child savings accounts, individual development accounts and save money to buy a home, go to college or start a small business.

New Space New Mexico, a group of public and private collaborators, believes Albuquerque and New Mexico are at the forefront of the commercial space industry, estimated to be a $2.7 trillion industry by 2024. Albuquerque is uniquely positioned to be a leader because of the presence of science and technology based businesses, national research laboratories and universities. New Space New Mexico is dedicated to crafting a comprehensive, near-term strategy for Albuquerque to be the innovation hub for new entrepreneurial space.

Barelas Community Coalition is focused on enhancing the quality of life in the Barelas neighborhood through intergenerational organizing and building community alliances that strengthen education, promote economic development and job opportunities, advocate for affordable housing, ensure the responsible redevelopment of the Barelas Railyards, and preserve the community’s heritage and historical resources. Goals for 2018 include the reopening of the B. Ruppe Drugstore as the B. Ruppe Center for Traditional Healing, a thriving cultural and culinary center that will feature local food businesses and artisans.

Sponsors of this year’s Great Grant Giveaway were Garcia Automotive Group, Lovelace Health System, NAI Maestas and Ward, Southwest Capital Bank, US Eagle Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Yearout Companies.

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