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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kathleen Onufer

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

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

Anne Weiskopf
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Anne Weiskopf

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

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

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

Neighbor
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Neighbor

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.

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

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Tommy Waterworth
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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
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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!

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

Lizt0mania
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“@chpn: CHAT wins $500,000, will buy Captain Buzzy’s http://t.co/6TLT3Emffk” this is so awesome!! So happy for them!!

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

Juliellen
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Juliellen

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

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