The Molina Center - sustainability education and internships for at-risk youth

Give vulnerable youth a fresh start with the skills they need to address 21st century challenges.
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David Pitman
Environment
Molina, Colorado
United States
5 Team Members

What would happen if we had an army of young people with the courage, critical thinking, training and sheer inspiration to solve our most pressing global issues?

We would change the world!

The Molina Center is building a place which equalizes opportunity for young people, breaking at-risk youth out of chronic poverty, homelessness and unemployment and tuning them into the reality that solving global challenges locally has a neat side-effect: employment, education and a brighter future for all.

We will engage at-risk youth with paid internships in sustainability - a long-term transitional residential program running every aspect of our social enterprise businesses. Working as a team in an entrepreneurial environment where everyone is encouraged and supported to consider their reach and capacity to make a lasting difference. Within a real eco-village community that gives full support for our interns to run every aspect of our business and community life.

Yes, real paid internships for at-risk youth.

With all the wholistic structure and support needed to ensure lasting success.

If you are an intern coming to live and work at The Molina Center:

  • we will meet you where you are - now, and move with you to the future you want
  • we will create mentoring partnerships with key experts in the local community
  • we will recognize that you are a complex being, and work with you to address the root causes of emotional distress and under-achievement
  • you are a valued member of our team, and have great insight and energy to give
  • we will ensure that you are secure financially, comfortably housed, eat good food and are part of a dynamic and inspirational community

What We Have Now:

  • the land: 42 beautiful acres in western Colorado held free and clear by our 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • the facility: two main buildings (one brand new!), plus a number of smaller ones, all the infrastructure in place
  • the people: a well-credentialed board hailing from around the USA, an Executive Director from Australia, a qualified chef to make that good food, community and industry partners and a diverse network of volunteers and supporters
  • the programs: two thoroughly researched and innovative programs - Food Foresters (Permaculture and Urban Gardening) and Natural Builders (sustainable building pre-vocational program)
  • the youth: we already have enough potential interns to book us out several times over

We Need Your Help With:

  • operational funding: startup money to pay our new staff, interns, insurance, materials (once we are established we should be self-sustaining)
  • credibility: we have already spoken to a number of grant-making foundations - the common thread has been "show us that you have broad, grassroots support and get back to us" - they are enthusiastic and keen to help, but no-one wants to be the first in to support a new approach

Hence this crowdfunding campaign. After several years of planning, hundreds of  thousands of dollars worth of private financial and in-kind donations and support, we are coming out of "stealth mode" and asking for your - the general public's - support.

As soon as we reach $30,000 on this campaign, we can start our programs.

However - we need to raise $300,000 to be sure that we can continue operations in the long term - we will be working intensely to push our campaign to this goal!  Raising up to or beyond $300,000 will ensure that we have enough to fund operations well into 2015 and convince grant-making foundations that we are a safe investment, so that we can continue to inspire many more at-risk youth into the future.

If you can't afford a donation, then share this with your friends. Even just talking about us - saying "check out The Molina Center, they are doing cool stuff" to everyone you know - will make a real difference to our collective future. Check out our Referral Prizes shown at the end of this page to see how we will thank you for your support.

Where the Money Goes:


Your Perks

$2: Two High Fives from TMC!

Give $2 and you'll be in on future campaign updates, and you'll know that you are, indeed, awesome. If we meet you in person, we will definitely consider high-fiving you, twice.

$20: Gift Code

Give $20 and we will send you a coupon code that you can redeem on our online shop - foodforesters.org . We will send you the code in time for your holiday season shopping too...

$50: Gift Certificate

Give $50 and you get a real, snail-mailed TMC gift certificate (delivery late November 2013), redeemable online, or in-person at TMC if attend a workshop or eat at our boutique restaurant. If you let us know, we will include a message so you can make this into a practical gift (that gives twice) for someone special.

$100: Adopt a Tree

In a few short years, visitors to The Molina Center will be able to walk in one of the most extensive food forests in the USA. As part of creating our food forest, we will be planting at least 1000 trees - big and small - over the next few years. We want to make a visit to our forest a fun, educational and interactive experience. Your adopted tree will have a small NFC enabled tag on which visitors can tap their smartphone to view details about the tree - it's species, ecological niche and human use, plus view your own customizable message (which could be text, a photo, a video - anything you can link to on the internet!). Your tree's visitors can even leave you a message or a photo of your tree... We will setup your NFC tag and virtual content by Summer 2014, but tags will be assigned to trees as they are planted on a first-come-first-served basis. They sooner you claim your perk, the sooner your tree will be in the ground! Our website will also have an interactive map of the food forest available for people to virtually visit your tree.

$500: Sponsor a Quilt Patch

In the foyer to the Administration Center, there will be a large (5x7 feet) handmade quilt. Your patch (approx 5x8 inches) will have your name and/or short message embroidered on it and will be seen by every visitor to TMC forever... Only 100 patches are available, the quilt will be made in early 2014.

$1,000: Adopt a Solar Panel

As soon as possible, we want TMC to be producing all of it's own electricity from the abundant solar energy here in Colorado. To do that, we need to build an array of 200 solar panels. We will have a real-time display of energy generation in our foyer, where individual panels will be shown. Your name will be shown on your panel, and you will also be able to share your panel's CO2 offsetting prowess with your friends via the Internet. Our website will also contain an interactive map of our installation, which can include your name and/or a link of your choosing. Like the trees, panels will be assigned to adopters on a first-come-first-served basis. Our arrays will be built in four stages, we will build the stages that are fully funded by this campaign in early 2014, otherwise we will seek further funds to complete the array as soon as possible and keep you informed throughout the process.

$5,000: Edibly Landscape Your Place

Once we have our Food Foresters team skilled up, they will be available to create edible landscapes anywhere. This major perk will get you at least $5000 off the price of bringing the team to your home or business and implementing a permaculture design to secure your local and organic food supply. Due to time and resource restraints - and that we want to ensure that we can deliver in 2014, only 4 of these are available.

$10,000: Colorado Adventure for Two

Let's face it - The Molina Center is located in an awesome part of the world. Who doesn't want to come to Colorado and get the VIP treatment for 5 days? Come and stay with us and we will arrange trips to locations of your choice from Aspen, Telluride, Powderhorn Resort, hiking or cross-country skiing on the Grand Mesa, Arches National Park, Colorado National Monument and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, plus open access to any workshops and events that are on while you are here.  We can only do this twice... do you prefer Summer or Winter?

Spread the Word and Be Rewarded

Just because you're not up to giving some money and collecting a perk, doesn't mean you can't help out and make a difference. Even better - we have partnered with some smart innovative companies to offer you awesome referral prizes!


AquaFarm is made by Back To The Roots in Oakland CA and retails for $59.99, while the Windowfarm is from Windowfarms and you will get the "One-Column Starter Bundle" which retails for $199.00. Both of these products grew out of successful crowdfunding campaigns and we plan to use them extensively in our programs. You should receive your prize in time for Christmas 2013.

The Genesis Dosing Controller is created by Sustainable Microfarms and their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is launching September 2013. It will retail for over $700 and will ship to you in early 2014. Again, this is a product which we plan to use in our programs into the future.

If you are not from the USA and win a referral prize, keep in mind that key parts of these products won't be able to be shipped to you (growing media, seeds, etc.) - we will let you know if you are affected and how to source the missing organic components locally.

How to Share Our Campaign (so we can track your rewards)

  • Go to our Indiegogo campaign page (you're looking at it now!)
  • Login (you may need to sign up first, or login with your Facebook account to do it faster)
  • Use any of the sharing tools in the "Share this Campaign" section right below our video
As long as you are logged in when you use the sharing tools, we can keep track of all the people you have referred and how much they have contributed and you will be automatically counted for rewards. 


Find This Campaign On
$2,653USD
raised in 1 month
9% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$30,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 2, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $2USD
    Two High Fives from TMC!

    You'll get access to campaign updates, a thank-you email, and a warm fuzzy feeling deep in your eco-soul...

    4 claimed
  • $20USD
    Gift Code

    Geta thank you email and an electronic coupon code for USD $20 value, redeemable at the foodforesters.org shop. Code will be sent to your email.

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $50USD
    Gift Certificate

    A beautifully presented $50 gift certificate. Redeem online at foodforesters.org, or in-person at a TMC workshop or the restaurant. Let us know if you wish to include a message for someone special.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $100USD
    Adopt a Tree

    Your name + your message + visitors stopping by to leave you updates = Your Web-Enabled Educational Real Food Forest Tree!

    1 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $500USD
    Sponsored Quilt Patch

    We embroider your name and/or message in a patch in our handmade foyer display quilt. All visitors to TMC will see your message and generosity for posterity.

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Adopt a Solar Panel

    Your name and message on the solar panel map in the foyer, plus your URL on the online interactive real-time solar generation map. Forever.

    0 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Edibly Landscape Your Place

    We will send our team to your home or business anywhere in the USA to design and implement a low maintenance edible landscape for you. Includes at least USD $5000 off the total costs.

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $10,000USD
    Colorado Adventure for Two

    5 days in the scenic wonderland of western Colorado. We'll show you and a partner around for 5 days. Choose your adventure - we'll give you the VIP treatment and arrange everything.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
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