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Accelerate 2017

Accelerate 2017: Citizens Make Change

Presented by in partnership with Citizens Bank 

On February 22, 2017, two dozen ideas to improve our community were thrust into the limelight.

The overall winner who took home the grand prize ($5,000) was:

The other four finalists, who each earned $2,000 to bring their ideas to life were:

  • Shayla Ivezzy 
    Economic & Workforce Development, sponsored by Oatey.
    Shayla is planning a mobile center to provide professional attire and career training for students in under-served areas.
    Watch Shayla's pitch at the event.
  • Jowan Smith
    Educating for Tomorrow, sponsored by Nordson.
    Jowan prepares and equips parents in low-income areas to navigate the college application and financial aid process.
    Watch Jowan's pitch at the event.
  • Ava Alexandra Thomas
    Quality of Life
    Ava will be creating memory mats for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. 
    Watch Ava's pitch at the event.
  • Daniel Gray-Kontar
    Transformative Arts & Culture
    Daniel is working to send six high school students to a literary conference in San Francisco through the Twelve Literary and Performative Arts Incubator. 
    Watch Daniel's pitch at the event.

Help carry this energy forward! If you have ideas, resources or connections you think could help advance any of the ideas pitched, or if you’d like to contact any of the presenters, please contact Rachel Ciomcia (216-592-2280).

Thank you to our Host Committee members whose support is helping to bring great ideas to life. 

See more from the event by checking out the press coverage, or watching the welcome by Joe DiRocco and the awards ceremony