100%

funded

Total loan: $10,000

Maya

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Chicago, IL, United States / Education

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A loan helped a black woman-owned nonprofit open its first brick-and-mortar location.


Maya's story

When I started architecture school I quickly realized that I would often be the only person that looked like me in my classes. Once I started working at architecture firms I rarely saw myself represented. I decided to go to grad school to explore the lack of diversity in the design fields and inequity in the built environment. I wanted to find a way to personally address the issues I was seeing all around me. While working full-time and finishing my Master of Architecture, I founded Chicago Mobile Makers, an award-winning nonprofit organization making design education more accessible to underrepresented groups and encouraging young people to become change-makers in their communities. Four years later, we've engaged with more than a thousand young people, converted a retired USPS van into a mobile design studio, and we're about to open our first permanent space, which will allow us to expand our impact and offer a safe community space for young people to build design skills. Opening this space is a dream of mine and it'll allow us to impact thousands more young people around the Chicago area.