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Dallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative

The Neighborhood Resource Initiative (NRI) offers partner organizations the opportunity to submit a proposal to receive resources to enhance existing or new summer programming to be connected with Dallas City of Learning during the summer. Resources include but are not limited to: Financial, Curriculum, Transportation, Professional Development and Facilities. Proposals were reviewed and scored on a rolling basis by an outside Advisory Committee.

We asked that proposals address these three main components:
1) target one or more of the Neighborhood Plus, Neighbor Up or Grow South areas,
2) incorporate social-emotional learning
3) help students access high-quality experiences.

Big Thought was proud to convene our Summer 2017 NRI grant recipients for an orientation last week at Dallas Contemporary.

As a mindfulness exercise, we asked our partners to tell us what brings them to this work. Here are some of the things they had to say!

  • Knowing that I have changed many people’s lives for the better
  • Ability to affect a change in the children and their families’ lives in a meaningful way
  • I do what I do to give back and expose people to opportunities they may not normally see
  • A higher calling/purpose
  • Serving the students in the community and seeing lives changed in a positive manner
  • Jesus, Family, Children
  • Passion. Way of giving back to my community and being a positive influence
  • Make our community better! To be the solution and not the problem!
  • I am here to share my talents and gifts with others. I want to make the economic playing field fair by making my students become bilingual or trilingual
  • To inspire, to advocate, to education, to challenge myself & others
  • The look in the children’s eyes when they realize they have learned something new!
  • Desire to share God’s love with youth and families providing access to services, education, and support in various areas of need
  • Legacy responsibility/Knowledge of self & history
  • Knowing kids have potential that is lost because they don’t have the connections or resources to be the greatness that is within them
  • Passionate about the art form of jazz and trying to keep alive with the youth of today
  • The love and respect of young people
  • Impact youth + staff that work for me
  • My childhood upbringing
  • To impact the lives of young students + parents, introduce to technology industry and STEM
  • The need to help people. The gifts I have to help them
  • I enjoy the gift & reward of positively impacting someone else’s life
  • To put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all
  • This is my life’s work. I believe art can change lives and make the world better
  • My momma brought me to this work – to treat others with love + kindness, to engage with others in service + joy, to embrace others in pain + give them hope
  • To spread awareness of issues beyond our narrow sphere – to call people to action & empower them to make a difference
  • Love for learning and sharing of knowledge
  • Being able to show kids a greater educational opportunity
  • Community Sustainability
  • Because I have a passion and purpose to help children discover their “best self”


We are so excited for this summer and to be a part of the amazing work that will be happening in our own city of learning!

Stephanie DrenkaDallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative