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CHAT wins $500,000 grant, will buy Captain Buzzy’s

Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) has won $500,000 through the inaugural Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant. The new annual award will fund one proposal that “celebrates the imaginative, cooperative spirit of Greater Richmond.”

CHAT plans to use the money to support a program designed to increase job training, marketable skills and employment opportunities for youth in North Church Hill. CHAT’s Young Entrepreneurs of Richmond Project includes the purchase of Captain Buzzy’s Beanery as a community and entrepreneurial hub. The project also includes elements intended to enhance the mental and nutritional health of participating youth.

“With this new grant category, we challenged the human services community to think creatively and collaboratively and to dream dreams bigger than they could have imagined,” said Juliet Shield-Taylor, the Robins Foundation board member who chaired the selection committee. “We were impressed with CHAT’s creativity, passion and the potential for making a real difference in the lives of Church Hill’s youth, and we look forward to witnessing the transformation within that community.”

The Young Entrepreneurs of Richmond Project is a multifaceted initiative with a broad scope of elements. A key component involves the purchase of Captain Buzzy’s Beanery, whose space will be utilized for a variety of retail, training and other entrepreneurial activity. The acquisition will allow for the expansion of CHAT’s existing entrepreneur teams, which are currently involved in woodworking, urban farming and screen-printing.

A second piece of the plan involves the development of a work-study program called Project First Job, a program designed to introduce participating youth to marketable job skills through paid positions with partner businesses. A third component focuses on addressing the mental and nutritional health needs of the community’s young people through education, evaluation and counseling.

In addition to funds to pay for the acquisition of the coffee shop, grant monies also will go toward the purchase of pickup trucks and a tractor to support the urban farming elements and two 14-passenger buses to transport students to small businesses as part of their entrepreneurial education.

The grant also will support work stipends for participating youth as well as salaries for new staff positions.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to the Robins Foundation, not just for this grant but for creating this process that invited us to dream big and take risks for our community,” said Caitlin Barnes, communications and development director for CHAT. “It is particularly notable that CHAT students helped develop this dream, presented to the selection committee and were an integral part of helping leverage $500,000 for their community.”

The runner-up proposal was submitted by CodeVA to support a program called Building the Digital Dominion, an initiative that seeks to create greater digital literacy – or computer science literacy – among Virginia’s public school students.

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Jennifer Kidd
Jennifer Kidd
5 years ago

Jennifer Kidd liked this on Facebook.

Melissa Ansley Brooks
Melissa Ansley Brooks
5 years ago

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Steven Smith
Steven Smith
5 years ago

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Emily Nelson
Emily Nelson
5 years ago

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jmurden
jmurden
5 years ago

This is huge, y’all / RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/dNxbHzQ19C

danielfarrell
danielfarrell
5 years ago

@chpn exciting! I hope the neighbors near captain buzzys don’t pitch a fit

leashal
leashal
5 years ago

RT @jmurden: This is huge, y’all / RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/dNxbHzQ19C

Beata Mastalerz
Beata Mastalerz
5 years ago

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RayDaudaniNBC12
RayDaudaniNBC12
5 years ago

“CHAT wins $500,000 grant, will buy Captain Buzzy’s ‹ CHPN” http://t.co/HjMpQHZG5r

Tricia Lewis Noel
Tricia Lewis Noel
5 years ago

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Stephanie Gausby
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Nathan Ryan
Nathan Ryan
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RigganRVA
RigganRVA
5 years ago

RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/yGQB375n5t

William Martin
William Martin
5 years ago

William Martin liked this on Facebook.

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
5 years ago

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MTBinDurham
MTBinDurham
5 years ago

Whoa! This could be interesting… RT @chpn CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/ISwP8CIwUa

Helen Wallace MacDonald
Helen Wallace MacDonald
5 years ago

Helen Wallace MacDonald liked this on Facebook.

Kathleen Onufer
Kathleen Onufer
5 years ago

Congratulations CHAT! – A neighbor near Captain Buzzy’s.

VATwinsFan
VATwinsFan
5 years ago

RT @jmurden: This is huge, y’all / RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/dNxbHzQ19C

Michael Jones
Michael Jones
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Luke Witt
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Stephanie Ganz
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Kate 'Beach' Johnson
Kate 'Beach' Johnson
5 years ago

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Anne Weiskopf
Anne Weiskopf
5 years ago

Until I learn more about what retail operation CHAT has in mind, the purchase of Captain Buzzy’s for this organization feels misguided.

CBS6
CBS6
5 years ago

RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/yGQB375n5t

AlchemyRVA
AlchemyRVA
5 years ago

RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/yGQB375n5t

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Tiffanie Chan
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Beth Hungate-Noland
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Thomas Vick
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Liz Morton
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percyrva
percyrva
5 years ago

RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/yGQB375n5t

Neighbor
Neighbor
5 years ago

This sounds very interesting! It sounds like they are going to have a retail section. It would be cool if they were going to operate a coffee shop as an entrepreneurial enterprise. I wonder what sort of retail they are considering.

Kelsy Zwanzig
Kelsy Zwanzig
5 years ago

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ebonkovsky
ebonkovsky
5 years ago

“@chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/ep4po8T7FH” whoa awesome!

Tommy Waterworth
Tommy Waterworth
5 years ago

Someone please tell me that Buzzy’s will reopen in a new location. The loss of Buzzy’s will torment my soul forever.

Claire Anderson Cerri
Claire Anderson Cerri
5 years ago

Tommy Waterworth I think you’re safe – I think it’s just an “acquisition of the coffee shop”. The way I read it was that it wasn’t going anywhere. I hope Felicia still works there though!

Grace Cowley
Grace Cowley
5 years ago

Grace Cowley liked this on Facebook.

josh_conrad
josh_conrad
5 years ago

Whoa! Huge congratulations Percy & team! RT @chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/Vh4URC1Unu

Juliellen
Juliellen
5 years ago

That is very exciting! CHAT is an organization that really makes a difference. I hope that Buzzy’s neighbors will be welcoming and supportive.

Lizt0mania
Lizt0mania
5 years ago

“@chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/6TLT3Emffk” this is so awesome!! So happy for them!!

Tommy Waterworth
Tommy Waterworth
5 years ago

Amazing win for CHAT though! Great things are happening here.

Eva Colen
Eva Colen
5 years ago

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Elizabeth Edwards Smith
Elizabeth Edwards Smith
5 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards Smith liked this on Facebook.

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Juliellen Sarver
5 years ago

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