Google Is Accepting Proposals for Impact Challenge 2015 Bay Area

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Google is now accepting proposals for its Impact Challenge 2015 San Francisco Bay Area. The company is helping young people to build better communities with the Impact Challenge. It has reached some kids through the efforts of Hack the Hood, one of the finalists of last year’s Impact Challenge.

Hack the Hood is a non-profit organization that helps low-income youth to establish tech careers by hiring or training them to build websites for small businesses. The Oakland-based organization provides the young people with boot camp trainings and workshops to give them valuable hands-on learning in creating mobile-friendly websites, running search engine optimization and helping businesses to get listed in online directories in their locality.

Google is hoping that the Impact Challenge will make more positive changes in the Bay Area, as well as create positive and meaningful change to people and communities. With its mission to inspire Bay Area kids to have careers in the field of tech, Hack the Hood wondered what would happen if young people with low-income would have the same job chances in the tech sector similar to the students from the best computer science institutions, and how could it benefit their future and that of their communities.

Hack the Hood applied for the Impact Challenge last year, and with a $500,000 fund, worked with almost a hundred Googlers, or volunteers. The organization had expanded its programs in Richmond, San Francisco and Oakland to reach many youths.

This year, Google will award funds to 25 organizations which it calls “hometown hero,” like Hack the Hood to make a greater impact to the Bay Area. The Internet titan announces the 2015 Challenge and calls on nonprofit organizations to discuss how can they improve their communities and use innovative solutions by asking “what ifs.”

From an its official blog post, Google says it is now accepting proposals for Impact Challenge 2015 Bay Area. The company said the Bay Area is always in the lead for positive social change. The region has always been defined by its residents, such as the fight of Harvey Milk for LGBT rights, the movement of Alice Waters for sustainable food to Silicon Valley’s technological advances and those who question the status quo to move communities forward.

In 2014, Google’s Impact Challenge saw the Bay Area send in more than a thousand nonprofit proposals, and saw it to the 25 finalists. Google sees the Bay Area striving to make the lives of its people, better. Lava Mae is committed to provide showers with dignity to the homeless, C.E.O. is training those who have been incarcerated to go back to the workforce and Mission Asset Fund is giving zero-interest loans to low-income people.

Submitted proposals will be evaluated based on reach, community impact, feasibility and innovation. The reviewers will be a panel of advisers who are committed to improve the Bay Area. The members of the panel of advisers who will pick the finalists include Hunter Pence, outfielder of San Francisco Giants; Harrison Barnes, forward of Warriors, as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The public will then vote for the 10 finalists on September 29 while four winners, who will receive $500,000 each, will be announced on October 21. The other six in the top 10 will be awarded $250,000, while a hundred dollars will be awarded to each of the 15 runners-up.

Furthermore, these nonprofits will receive support from Google partners and volunteers continuously to realize their ideas. Lava Mae and San Francisco Baykeeper were also among the finalists in last year’s Impact Challenge. San Francisco Baykeeper is fighting erosion, sea-level rise and pollution in the San Francisco Bay.

The Bay Area is home of thousands of Googlers who live and work there. Google is now accepting proposals for Impact Challenge 2015 Bay Area, from nonprofit organizations until July 23.

By Judith Aparri

Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen

Google Official Blog: Building even better communities with the Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area
Hack the Hood: What We Do
SiliconBeat: Google Impact Challenge will award $5 million to 25 Bay Area nonprofits

Photo courtesy of m.‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License