United Way announces KERNEL Finalists

The United Way of Tarrant County announced three finalists Oct. 10 in its KERNEL program, which fosters social innovation in Tarrant County. The finalists, competing for $50,000 in seed money to grow their ideas, are Rosa es Rojo Inc., Taste Project and The Welman Project.

Finalists will vie for the seed money with creative presentations in front of a panel of judges during the KERNEL LIVE! event at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, at Four Day Weekend Theater, 312 Houston St., United Way said in a news release.

Members of the Four Day Weekend Comedy troupe also will provide entertainment. Contestants will split the seed funding with first place earning $25,000, second place earning $15,000 and third place earning $10,000.

The finalists and their programs:

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Rosa Es Rojo: Wellness and Cancer Prevention Program for Latinas in Tarrant County – This program makes wellness and prevention accessible for high-risk cancer population of Latina women, by training them on the topics of nutrition, physical activity, emotional health and positive thinking.

The program fits into the organization’s education model “The Rojo Way,” and is shared in Spanish through on-site workshops, one-on-one support sessions, an ambassadors program, conferences, support groups, digital platforms and downloadable guides

Taste Community Restaurant Pay-What-You-Can Breakfast – Taste Community Restaurant is the first project of the Taste Project organization designed to help feed, educate and serve Tarrant County’s food-insecure population. The solution is a fresh and healthy pay-what-you- can restaurant where everyone in the community regardless of financial means can enjoy a healthy, high-quality meal. The menu has no prices and guests are simply asked to either pay what they can afford, pay what the meal would typically cost or pay for what the meal would typically cost plus a little extra to help a neighbor in need.

The Welman Project Fill a Classroom, Not a Landfill – The Welman Project is taking the problem of excess commercial waste and turning it into a solution for the second problem – the lack of resources in schools. The organization picks up surplus materials from businesses and delivers them to classrooms free of charge while working one-on-one with teachers to provide creative reuse and repair alternatives to purchasing new supplies.

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“We are pleased to present our KERNEL social innovation competition for the third year,” TD Smyers, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County, said in the release. “We are impressed with the three finalists and are thrilled to be offering $50,000 in seed money to help their ideas grow, in addition to the mentoring, technical assistance and guidance we provide the winning organizations.”

KERNEL, established in 2016 by the United Way of Tarrant County, fosters social innovation within Tarrant County and provides resources and seed funding for organizations and programs that comprise a combination of social impact, a sustainable revenue model, and an innovative approach to solving the social challenges in the community.

Tickets for the event are available at: unitedwaytarrant.org/KERNELLIVE

General VIP tickets are $75, general admission tickets are $45 and student tickets are $25. Seating is limited.

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– FWBP Staff