CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Ashley Kinamore knows what it means to hustle.
“We always are coming up with new programs to meet the needs of the community,” Kinamore said.
As the education director of High Achievers Aim High, she and her fellow co-founders have launched six programs that focus on minority children and equity.
That's all in the last four years.
And now, thanks to a grant, they'll launch the HUSTLE Academy or Helping Usher Students Toward Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
The program partners 10 Cincinnati Black high schoolers with a paid internship with a black business owner.
“So it’s big, big big,” Kinamore said. “We are so excited. It’s our first big grant.”
The Academy is set up to provide leadership training and an entrepreneurship program.
Students will work with MORTAR, a local entrepreneurship academy for marginalized entrepreneurs.
In all, the United Way awarded 29 projects led by Black entrepreneurs with more than $600,000 in grants.
“Far too many families in our region are experiencing poverty and far too few Black-led ideas and by extension, leaders receive funding to address those issues,” said Jena Bradley, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, community engagement manager. “So we wanted to do an intentional project where we funded and resource community-led – community-based, Black-led ideas addressing poverty.”
High Achievers Aim High's grant will help students learn in industries like culinary arts, marketing and social work.
“I know Cincinnati schools is big on the three Es: enroll, employ and enlist, and this is a fourth ‘E’, entrepreneurship,” Kinamore said.
As High Achievers Aim High knows, being an entrepreneur takes hustle.
High Achievers Aim High is one of 29 Black Empowerment Works grantees.
Here are all the grantees and the amount they received from the United Way:
- Agricademy ($25,000), for the Black Empowerment Works through Agriculture program which aims to increase access to healthy food and awareness around careers in the farming industry.
- Cincinnati Music Accelerator ($8,500), for the CMA Community Music Tour program to provide free concerts in predominantly Black neighborhoods while employing Black artists and vendors.
- Cozy Home Childcare and Learning Center ($18,000) to provide support in opening their quality childcare center in Avondale, greatly expanding their capacity to serve families.
- Culture Curator ($25,000) for their ELEVATE program, providing training to youth in building soft skills through voluntarism and arts exposure.
- DevonshireSmith Diversity and Education Solutions ($25,000) for the Pathways to Success College Access Program, developing and empowering Black high school students of lower incomes to achieve post-secondary readiness and success by providing comprehensive training, enrichment, and academic prep.
- Easley Blessed Foundation ($25,000) for the Multimedia & Live Stream Production program, which provides hands-on training in software, photography, videography, content creation and more to youth and young adults with the ultimate goal of building career pathways and creating more media content developed by Black people.
- Empire Consulting ($13,405) for the Establishing Generational Wealth program, providing community-based workshops to equip participants to build generational wealth through financial planning.
- Envision Children ($25,000) for their Catch Every Child program which provide out-of-school educational programs and private tutoring to increase academic performance.
- Extreme Clean Auto Detailing LLC ($25,000) to provide employment and training opportunities for community members considered hard-to-employ.
- Filling the Gap ($20,000) for the Prison to Professional: College Readiness and Leadership Development Program, providing training and peer coaching to individuals returning to the area from incarceration.
- Gourd-geous Sacred Vessels ($25,000) to channel the creativity within the community into an income-producing arts and craft manufacturing venture.
- High Achievers Aim High ($25,000) for the HUSTLE Academy program, a leadership training and entrepreneurship program in partnership with Cincinnati high schools (Oyler, Shroder, Taft, West High, Winton Woods and Woodward) and MORTAR.
- Hodge-EDU LLC ($25,000) for the ALPHA-Male program, which aims to close the academic achievement gap for school-aged African American males at Silverton Paideia by providing math enrichment.
- iCan Health LLC ($9,889) to provide self-management resources to support individuals with a diagnosis of Pre-diabetes and Diabetes Type 2.
- Isaiah 55, Inc ($5,000) for the Breaking Generational Cycles program, which aims to teach participants how to break cycles of poverty with education in the areas of nutrition, growing food and healthy behaviors.
- Ladies of Leadership LLC ($25,000) to sustain and expand their mentorship programming for girls grades 2-12.
- Laundry Love Cincinnati ($25,000) for the Love-In-Action program, providing access to basic needs and services to individuals and families with lower incomes and those experiencing homelessness.
- Madisonville Mission Ministries ($18,350) for the Financial Stewardship Program, addressing financial literacy and providing practical tools for improving the economic quality of life among African Americans.
- Mentoring Young Men ($25,000) for the Summer Enrichment Program, centered on African American male students grades 3-6 at Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy.
- New Prospect Baptist Church ($25,000) to support opening and operating their shelter for women experiencing homelessness.
- Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati ($25,000) to implement a comprehensive, research-based approach designed to provide parents and community members with the information and leadership skills to build educational partnerships that lead to improved academic performance.
- Q-KIDZ Dance Team ($25,000) to support general operating expenses required to fulfill their mission of engaging kids through dance and educational programming.
- Queen City Foundation ($20,000) for the Bridge to Excellence program, a new year-round educational enrichment program focused on youth grades 6-12.
- SuperSeeds ($25,000) for the Options Day Program, aimed at disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by providing alternate resources for discipline with a focus on youth development and restorative practices training for school administrators, law enforcement, and parents.
- Sweet Sistah Splash ($10,000) for the Cincinnati Youth Entrepreneurs Camp and Business Fair, encouraging economic stability, business creation and retention by providing entrepreneurship education to youth ages 7-18.
- The Green Store ($20,000) for ThatGreen.Life, equipping Black Millennials with the tools to live an eco-conscious and healthy lifestyle through a series of micro-courses, coaching/consulting and content creation.
- Triiibe Foundation ($20,000) for Triiibe Works, a workforce development program centered on gardening and promoting healthy lifestyles.
- West End Art Gallery ($22,400) to support a workshop series that provides access to art as a means of building healthy behaviors and community cohesion.
- Youth at the Center ($15,000) for the Youth Leadership and Civic Engagement Academy, providing leadership education and training opportunities to youth grades 7-12.