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IEL Included in Next Round of NBA Foundation Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

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IEL Included in Next Round of NBA Foundation Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

NBA Foundation Grant Supports RAMP Programming in Five NBA Markets

WASHINGTON D.C. – March 1, 2024 – The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has again been included as one of the nonprofit organizations to receive funding from the NBA Foundation to create employment opportunities, further career advancement, and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth throughout the United States and Canada. The grants are focused on workforce development, pathways for higher education, mentoring, and entrepreneurship for Black youth.

IEL President Eddie Koen (left) with RAMP youth and Coordinators at a NBA Denver Nuggets game in 2023.

IEL’s grant will support the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) in five NBA markets (Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC-Baltimore corridor; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO) to implement a program that combines mentoring (peer and adults), career exploration, work-based job experiences, and employment for black and biracial youth and young adults (ages 14-24). RAMP is a high-tech, career-focused mentoring program for youth with disabilities involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. “Youth with disabilities are often overlooked in youth provider programs, and youth of color with disabilities are frequently left out of conversations about inequity,” said Eddie Koen, IEL’s president.

RAMP reconnects youth to schools and their communities. The program engages families and creates caring adult mentoring relationships to build trust and sustain the progress of youth participants. Importantly, RAMP offers youth with disabilities a voice and opportunities to lead and advocate for the issues that are most important to them, while creating successful inroads to jobs and careers.

This donation is part of a larger effort by the  NBA Foundation to support pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career individuals in their communities. To date, they have awarded over $100 Million in grants to 227 non-profit organizations, including IEL.

The full list of the grantees and their efforts can be viewed HERE.

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 About the NBA Foundation

The NBA Foundation is the league’s first-ever charitable foundation dedicated to driving economic opportunity for Black youth. The Foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities.  

About IEL 

At the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), we change systems through people. Everything we do is aimed at lifting up underserved leaders and equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to transform their communities through education, with equity-driven solutions. By cultivating strong local leadership capacity across all levels, we can drive meaningful change for communities, families, and children.

We approach the communities we work alongside with “love in action.” That means listening to our partners and colleagues and adapting our practices based on what we learn together, and what works best.

Media Contacts:

Mia Calys: calysm@iel.orgom