Funding, News

President Obama Announces New Youth CareerConnect Grants

From the U.S. Department of Education…”How do we start making high school … more interesting, more exciting, more relevant to young people?”

That’s the idea behind the Youth CareerConnect grant program, which President Obama discussed this morning during his visit to Bladensburg High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In his remarks, the President announced that Bladensburg High was part of a three-school team in Prince George’s County that won a $7 million Youth CareerConnect grant.

The grant will give students at Bladensburg High access to individualized college and career counseling, as well as paid work experiences with employer partners such as Lockheed Martin. What’s more, students concentrating in health professions will be able to earn industry-recognized certifications in nursing and pharmacy, and biomedical students will be able to earn college credit from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Learn more by clicking here.


Interactive Intelligence Foundation

The primary mission of the Interactive Intelligence Foundation is to utilize available resources and funding to foster life improvements for at-risk youth.The foundation raises and distributes funds based on the following general guidelines:

  • Funds raised by the foundation are distributed to a small number of not-for-profit organizations roughly commensurate with the Interactive Intelligence employee distribution in Indiana (66%), Non-Indiana U.S. (19%), and Non-U.S. (15%).
  • Monetary distribution decisions are made one time each year by the foundation’s board of directors.
  • Special emphasis is placed on projects that promote technology education amongst the targeted at-risk youth sector.
  • At the decision of the board of directors, a portion of the foundation’s funds may be directed at times to assist world crises or natural disasters.
  • 100% of monetary donations go to designated causes
  • Funds are raised by the Foundation through individual contributions, corporate donations, and fundraisers. Interactive Intelligence has agreed to fund and/or provide all administrative and management tasks associated with the Foundation, so 100% of all monetary donations are distributed to designated causes.
  • Requests for funds from the Interactive Intelligence Foundation are considered annually, reviewed at the end of each calendar year for funding in the following year.
  • The Interactive Intelligence Foundation is a non-profit corporation, incorporated in the state of Indiana. Applicable tax deductions may be available to contributors. Contributors should consult a tax specialist for additional information.

The opportunity to request funds to support your organization in 2014 will open on Monday, October 14, 2013 and close on Friday, November 15, 2013. Decisions will be communicated by December 20, 2013.  Apply for these funds through Interactive Intelligence Foundation.

Funding, News

Funding Watch: BigLeap — Crowd-Funding Prize and Reward Network for Social Good

The mission of this team of Internet and software veterans is to “…enable all of us to solve important social problems through crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing.” They identified three steps in their Challenge process:

  1. “Define an audacious goal”
  2. “Specify a prize or reward amount”
  3. “Define the winning criteria”
  4. “Inspire others to support the Challenge”

“Historically, incentive challenges and competitions with significant prizes or rewards have resulted in quantum-leap progress and innovation. Traditionally only a select few large organizations have used this tool. Now it’s time to put this power into the hands of everyone.”

Student voice? Transition? Let’s put our ideas to work…


Making Careers Happen Materials Available (free!)

Making Careers Happen: Transition and Career Development for Secondary Youth with Disabilities in the 21st Century was a web conference held across three days in February 2013.  The event featured a number of guest speakers and innovators from across the US, who shared their best ideas and engaged the diverse online participants through presentation and conversation across three broad topics:

  1. Individualized Career Planning and Program Development
  2. Leadership and Diverse Funding of Person-Centered Career Development
  3. Ticket-to-Work: Build and Sustain Careers with Youth and Their Families

The videos, materials and ideas shared during this event are now available for free!  For more information…



Share How Your Preparation Program Helped You Become a Great Special Educator
A TED/HECSE/CEC Collaboration


Policymakers in Washington are thinking about cutting funds for IDEA’s Personnel Preparation Program, a leading source of financial assistance for future special educators, early interventionists, local/state leaders, researchers, and related service personnel.

Join CEC/TED/HECSE to support IDEA’s Personnel Preparation Program, which currently supports approximately 8,000 scholars per year across the nation who are preparing for a career in special education or early intervention.

Special education suffers from a decades-long national shortage-there simply aren’t enough special educators!!!

Here are three quick and easy  ways to become involved: 

  1. There’s power in numbers! Sign this letter to Congress and the Obama Administration in support of IDEA’s Personnel Preparation Program.
  2. Email Congress NOW! Use CEC’s Legislative Action Center to send a personal letter.
  3. Tell us your story! Email and tell us how your preparation program made you a great special educator.

Locate your legislators through the following sites and ask them to RESTORE FUNDING for Special Education: