Breaking News: My Sister Wins $426K Grant
- My sister hits the grant lottery, and she’s about to help thousands of women.
- Want to learn how we did it?
- A complete grant mystery.
You know what I don’t understand?
Have you ever heard someone say, I wish we had a doctor in the family? Or lawyer or dentist. Whatever.
We have all heard the saying, “my son is looking to become ______.”
Fill in the blank.
Most times these jobs are all “ego” driven by our society. Hey come on, we all do it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love doctors, teachers, plumbers, and all the other jobs.
But what about little’old grant writers?
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Here is a line you have likely never heard.
I REALLY WANT MY BROTHER OR SISTER TO BECOME A GRANT WRITER, SO THEY CAN HELP ME WIN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
Well welcome to the Kincade family everybody.
Because the absolute unthinkable happened recently.
I need to back up a bit, but if you continue to read carefully, you too can learn how to win a big grant.
My sister has been on her own since she was 13.
By 26 she had four kids.
Aside: When I moved in with them when I arrived in Alberta in 2003, I called my mom immediately and said, “I’m booking an appointment with the doctor tomorrow to get a vasectomy.”
Back to my sister.
What the heck was she going to do for a career?
She had learned about air traffic control.
It was an exciting career with a brutal training program.
She took all the exams and passed. Only one giant hurdle remained: pass a six-month training module in Cornwall, Ontario.
So, she rented out a place in Cornwall, packed all four kids in the car and took off.
Sure as all get out she passed and becomes an air traffic controller!
When she entered the Nav Canada Area Control Centre in Edmonton, she was only the ninth woman to have become an IFR Air Traffic Controller (ATC)! That was like year 1999 I think. Crazy.
I guess if she could handle four small kids by herself and that training at the same time, I’m sure she could handle the most stressful career out there.
HOW SHE WON
After she got the hang of ATC, she decided to volunteer.
The Royal Alexandra Hospital was looking for people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser in 2011. Kendra decided to jump in.
To raise money for the calendar, she launched a professional calendar featuring women who worked in ATC.
The calendar had two functions: (1) a fundraiser for the Royal Alex and (2) raise awareness for women in this field.
You can imagine what some people thought of that idea. Hint: they didn’t like it.
In the next year or two, she formally creates Elevate Aviation.
Well the calendar is now on its fifth edition and Elevate Aviation has become a well established non-profit organization dedicated to helping women find and excel in aviation careers. They do a bunch of good stuff which you can learn about here: https://www.elevateaviation.ca/
A couple quick stats:
- Woman only make up less than 5% of commercial airline pilots
- Only 17% of women are air traffic controllers
- You don’t need a calculator to add up the number of women in aviation C-suites
When Trudeau got elected, he was on a mission to increase the number of women in cabinet and in the board rooms of corporations across the country.
How do you do that?
In the fall of 2017 he launched a couple grants for women. One of them was worth $500,000 for creating economic security of women in Canada and contribute to advancement of gender equality.
Now that you have the context of this grant, how in the world does someone go from creating a non-profit organization a few years ago to a $426,000.
One she and her team are awesome, which is essential.
She has worked really hard and done some interesting things.
But wait a minute.
Don’t most non-profit organizations work hard.
But something is different here.
Look at the organizations who also received funding:
Here is a quote from the press release:
Minister Monsef was joined by representatives from Elevate Aviation, the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), which are receiving funding under this call for proposals. Elevate Aviation has been awarded $426,410 for a national project that aims to improve women’s economic security through access to careers in the aviation industry in Canada. CIWA is receiving $313,693 for a project to identify economic barriers faced by immigrant women fleeing domestic violence and improve their access to jobs, while APEGA has been awarded $350,000 for a project to increase women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Do you see what I see here?
Do you know who APEGA is and how long it has been around. Let us look at its website:
Created in 1920, The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta on behalf of the Government of Alberta through the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act.
We are the largest association of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada. Our Members work in diverse industries, contributing significantly to Alberta’s economic success and enhancing the quality of life Albertans enjoy.
How could a non-profit that was founded just a few years ago win more than APEGA and Lord only knows how many other legitimate organizations who didn’t win anything?
I had a front row seat, coaching and editing this grant application the entire process.
Kendra did a few things before the grant was submitted that was essential for this massive win.
#1. She met the minister first. Check out this blog to understand why here.
#2. She got the draft done early and could ask the grant agency questions. I was so impressed. She really was the first lead author on the grant with a bunch of support from her awesome team.
#3. Finally, she brought this author to review and clean it up. Ironically I wrote about her and writing last year. You can learn some great writing tips here:
#4. The best complementary resources for winning grants is below:
Have a great week!