2 Grant Recipients for the Stardust Startups Spring Givenar for Climate Action

 Stardust Startups, a virtually-based non-profit organization, awards microgrants worldwide to select emerging entrepreneurs who need seed money for projects focused on making positive social and environmental impact.

The organization held their third annual Spring Givenar to showcase the six finalists and announce the two winners, who will receive microgrants and other types of early-stage support for their startups.

This past April, Stardust Startups received 80 applications from new businesses focused on striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically in the areas of Clean Water & Sanitation and/or Climate Action. The two winners were found to: 1) have a verified positive social and environmental impact, 2) show innovation in solving a local problem related to water and/or climate change, and 3) show potential for global impact.



PRA (short for Products Related to Agricultural Sector) is a startup that combines recycled paper waste and plantain banana stems to create an 100% compostable and biodegradable paper-like packaging.

The $2,000 Stardust Startups microgrant will be used to purchase a dryer to speed up the transformation process (to not have to rely on the sun), and to have some working capital for manufacturing in general.


Ivory Coast

BioAni is a startup that produces high-protein fishmeal and animal feed made from black soldier fly larvae. The company also produces natural fertilizer made from larvae frass.

The $2,000 Stardust Startups microgrant will be used to purchase new aviaries for the flies, new drying tables for the transformation of larvae into flour, and a stock of palm kernel cake (which is mixed with bio-waste to feed the larvae).

Democratizing Impact as a Donor-Advised Fund

Along with its role as a non-profit, Stardust Startups has also positioned itself as a non-traditional Donor-Advised Fund. Every year, donors choose to contribute towards one or more value-aligned SDGs with certainty that the process is fully transparent and the relationships are human-scale.

With their proven track record of finding, funding, and supporting scalable solutions to global challenges, Stardust Startups provides impact-driven philanthropists with the power to make real change happen.

Their human-scale and future-focused sourcing model sets them apart.

“You want to make a difference in the world, but you can’t find the right socially and environmentally conscious businesses to support. We find impact-driven entrepreneurs ready to fulfill their potential and connect your financial power to them, giving you the opportunity to make real change happen and see actionable results.” -Camille Babington, Co-founder of Stardust Startups

Help Stardust Startups get their selection process started for the next funding cycle. As an individual, make a one-time or recurring donation. As a foundation or company, discover our options to become a sustaining partner.

More background on the non-profit

Stardust Startups, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, awards microgrants worldwide to select emerging entrepreneurs who need seed money for projects focused on making positive social and environmental impact. Stardust Startups provides financial, moral, and social support for the innovative work of emerging young businesses and initiatives that conform to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals – with emphasis on Zero Hunger, Good Health & Well-Being, Quality Education, Clean Water/Sanitation, Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities/Communities, Responsible Consumption/Production and Climate Action. Since its inception in 2015, Stardust Startups has awarded more than $50,000 in grants to a diverse array of emerging impact entrepreneurs around the world in 11 countries and 5 US states, working with purpose and passion at a human-scale. Projects supported include a bio-tech invention helping bees fight parasites and contaminants, a low-consumption indoor air cooling system, an ion-powered aircraft, a eco-briquette creating an alternative fuel source for refugees, eco-responsible tiny housing, innovative bulk food distribution, aquatic tanks to reduce PTSD, a reusable take-out container service, a reading and technology program for young learners, an app startup promoting green habits and local tips for millennials, and many more. Learn more on our website: https://starduststartupfactory.org/

Stardust Startups

Emma Cheung





  • Philanthropy & Non-profit

Grant Cole Joins RE/MAX Alliance Group

 Grant Cole has joined RE/MAX Alliance Group as a Broker-Associate in the Anna Maria Island office. He has 35 years of real estate experience, including building, developing, buying, selling and investing. He previously served with Salty Mermaid Real Estate on Holmes Beach.

“I very much enjoy negotiating on my clients’ behalf, buying or selling,” said Cole. “I’ve always been amazed at what is negotiable beyond price and how skilled negotiation makes a tremendous difference.”

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Cole graduated from Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He enjoys boating, hiking and traveling, and volunteers at the Throne of Grace Ministries Men’s Life Center.

The RE/MAX Alliance Group Anna Maria Island office is located at 5316 Marine Drive, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217. Cole can be reached at (980) 312-2828 or grant.cole3@yahoo.com.

RE/MAX Alliance Group is the #1 RE/MAX franchise in Florida and the #1 RE/MAX franchise in the Southeast. It is the #1 RE/MAX franchise in Florida for contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network. The company offers residential and commercial real estate solutions through 12 offices in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties. For more information, please visit https://www.alliancegroupfl.com.

RE/MAX Alliance Group

Sheila Brannan Longo

(941) 355-3006


Media Contact:

Thomas & Brannan Communications




  • Personnel Announcements

$1 Million grant to support NPR’s ongoing DEI work

Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE

NPR Foundation vice-chair Mollie Hale Carter announced today a $1 million grant to support NPR’s ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work.

“At NPR, diversity is not a program or initiative. It is an inextricable part of our mission to serve the American public,” said Keith Woods, NPR’s Chief Diversity Officer. “This generous gift will help support the four main categories of our DEI work: audience, content, staffing, and workplace diversity.”

“NPR is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace, just as in its journalism. From hiring and recruitment to workplace culture, NPR is focused on building a safe, inclusive, and equitable organization,” said Selyn Hong, NPR’s Chief People Officer.

“I’m extremely proud to support NPR in bringing even greater intention to ensuring a culture that both represents and serves all. As a mission-driven organization, inclusion provides the foundation for a strong and healthy future,” said Mollie Hale Carter.

The million-dollar grant will make it possible for NPR to continue its ongoing work, including the Reflect America and Code Switch Fellowships. Information about NPR’s DEI work can be found below and regular updates here:

Audience diversity

Diversification of NPR’s audience sits at the center of NPR’s strategic plan, driving priorities now and in the coming years, including collaborative initiatives conducted with Member Stations. Central to the strategy is creating content that allows audiences to see themselves and their communities represented in NPR’s reporting and storytelling. NPR’s coverage must be inclusive of the different perspectives and lived experiences of people to arrive at a more accurate representation of truth. Dozens of editorial initiatives are driving us toward this goal. Recent examples include:

  • In the newsroom: In 2019, NPR added a Race and Identity reporting team, led by veteran editor Marcia Davis. She edits coverage of race and identity from the National Desk, leading a team of reporters and coordinating with desks and shows. She also serves as a liaison with the Code Switch team, working to facilitate seamless coverage of race, inclusion and diversity throughout our newsroom and the broader network of Member Stations. The Race and Identity team works in collaboration with journalists across NPR to explore how these topics touch all areas of society, from health care to education. 
  • Podcasting: With shows such as Code Switch, It’s Been a Minute, Throughline, and The Limits with Jay Williams, NPR podcasts amplify diverse voices and present a wider range of perspectives and experiences. NPR recently launched Oye: The Lab for Latinx Creators, to open up new pathways to stories from the country’s burgeoning Latino/a/x communities.
  • Digital programming: As more people prefer to seek news and entertainment on digital platforms, NPR is investing in multi-platform content reflective of America. The 2021 series “Where We Come From,” for example, was told through podcast episodes, videos, radio segments and web pieces, creating a wide platform to elevate voices of immigrant communities of color who have been historically underrepresented in the media.

Content diversity

NPR amplifies diverse voices from the journalists and hosts who report the stories, to the people interviewed and sources consulted.

NPR has been engaged in source tracking since 2013 to help ensure a multiplicity of voices are included in the newsroom’s reporting. In 2019, NPR launched the Reflect America Fellowship, a year-long program aimed at helping newsroom and programming teams expand the diversity of their sources while introducing NPR to new, talented journalists. The first two fellows now work full-time at NPR.

Building on these efforts, in July 2021, NPR launched Dex, a new platform that allows journalists across the content divisions to keep track of the demographics of their sources, creating a seamless way for journalists to keep track of their own efforts to bring a greater diversity of voices to our audience. Also in 2021, NPR revamped its Diverse Sources Database, a free resource open to all journalists. With a cleaner design, new features and vastly improved search functionality, it’s easier than ever for reporters to find experts from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the media.

Source tracking has also carried over into NPR’s work with Member stations. For example, several years ago, NPR’s research team helped KUT in Austin develop a source-tracking design, and they in turn helped WHYY in Philadelphia and KTOO in Juneau, AK to do the same. Since then, stations from Portland, OR to Charlotte, NC to Kansas City, MO and many more have gotten involved in this effort.

Staffing diversity

Thoughtful recruitment is imperative to bringing a diversity of voices, perspectives and experiences to our work. Strategies and initiatives to support this include:

  • Equitable hiring practices that require diverse applicant pools, hiring panels, and standardized interview questions and rubrics.
  • The Public Media Village, a collaborative recruiting effort to attract journalists of color to work in public media.
  • The NPR NextGen Radio program, which connects college journalists with professionals from NPR and Member Stations across the country with a strong focus on bringing young people of color into the system.
  • Fellowship and internship opportunities designed to nurture early career journalists and journalists, including Veterans and people with disabilities. Two of our fellowships – Code Switch and Reflect America – are specifically designed to support journalists of color.

NPR publishes statistics about the representation of staff on npr.org, and regularly updates staff on NPR’s hiring, representation, and voluntary turnover to reinforce accountability and transparency in this work.

Workplace diversity

NPR has an array of programs designed to create an environment where a diverse staff can grow and thrive. Among those programs:

  • Led by teams from its Human Resources division in 2021,  NPR launched its Workplace Integrity initiative to help staff create a “work environment free from harassment, discrimination, and incivility, and filled with equitable opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been denied it.”
  • For more than a year, NPR’s Diversity Manager, Whitney Maddox, has led twice-monthly conversations tackling one of the most difficult diversity topics. Called STAR – Start Talking About Race – the workshops explore a range of challenges that come up routinely in the workplace. Hundreds of NPR staff have participated in STAR since its launch.
  • More than half of NPR’s staff have participated in one or both of its mentorship programs – launched in 2018 to help staff navigate the organization, develop professionally, and gain a greater sense of belonging at NPR.
  • Since the start of 2020, NPR has sponsored Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that provide staff with space  to come together as affinity groups across race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, faith and other life experiences. NPR provides a stipend for the volunteer leaders of the groups and supports authors and speakers the ERGs bring in for the benefit of the full staff.
  • In 2021, NPR offered HR-led workshops on empowering transgender and gender non-conforming employees, part of broader efforts to ensure that all employees can feel welcome to be themselves at NPR.

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it’s easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Attorney Grant Gisondo’s Family Law Practice Includes a Variety of Areas

 Practicing Family Law for over a decade has been successful for Attorney Grant Gisondo. With his law office located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Attorney Gisondo can represent clients in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough Counties, New York and Washington DC. He has recently achieved the honor of becoming a Board-Certified lawyer in Marital and Family Law, which adds another level of expertise to his already successful practice. Only 1% of Marital and Family Law lawyers in Florida have attained this award.

Attorney Gisondo is proud to be able to represent clients with Family Law issues that cover many areas of need. He can help with divorce (dissolution of marriage), alimony, child support, pre and post-nuptial agreements, post-judgment modification of alimony and or child support, arrears in alimony or child support, adoption, mediation, parental timesharing, and development of a parenting plan, and equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities. It is important to note that in Florida, the distribution of marital assets and liabilities is done equitably, not equally, so an attorney’s help in this area is vital.

Attorney Gisondo wants prospective clients to know he is dedicated to helping them get outstanding representation. His mission statement is, “We are a guiding light through even the darkest of situations which result in solutions. I provide clients going through tough times with a light at the end of the tunnel. I counsel clients about good decision making in both their emotional and financial futures.” His guiding principles are:

• Earning by actions trust, loyalty, and respect.

• Always be accessible and responsible to clients.

• Honesty, integrity, and justice through experience.

• I will always keep an open ear and open mind and will fight your fight as if it was my own.

Attorney Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where you can ask questions, get to know attorney Gisondo, learn his fee arrangements, and how he can help. His website is https://gisondolaw.com, where you can learn more about him and his practice. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday for new clients from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Please call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.

Grant J. Gisondo, P.A. – Family Law Attorney

Grant Gisondo



500 Village Square Crossing #103

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410



  • Legal & Law

Grant Handgis Invites Everyone to Explore Femininity and Womanhood in the Launch of his Book “Teeny Tiny Tammy”


“The Story of Teeny Tiny Tammy” is a fictional tale that follows a little girl whose mother was taken away when she was a child. She was left to forge her own path to womanhood with the help of three female figures from the “Contrariest Forest.” Tammy is only six inches tall, but she learns the attributes that lead to womanhood from the cloister of women she meets along the way. The “Contrariest Forest” is the starting point for a girl’s search to becoming a woman, as well as a location where difficulties are solved and ambitions realized. The roster of characters includes Tammy’s cloister of women, gnomes, fairies, and a troublesome Troll. A story for young girls about legendary woodlands and learning about the characteristics of womanhood, with the solution coming from inside.


The book was created for Grant’s little daughter who at the time, embodied Tammy’s characteristics. The author holds this story in high regard for obvious reasons. The story was completely made up when it first began but has grown into something more after thirty years, integrating life lessons and information learned over the years, changing the fanciful tale into a story of an old discipline being rediscovered. The author’s purpose was to describe the trip that every young girl goes on in her quest for finding the ‘sacred feminine’ spirit, in the age-old lesson of becoming a woman—it’s a story about empowerment, and self-discovery.


Explore the tiny world of a tiny girl with a giant heart and determination.


Buy the book at: https://youronlinepublicist.com/product/the-story-of-teeny-tiny-tammy-by-grant-m-handgis/


The Story of Teeny Tiny Tammy

Author: Grant M. Handgis

Publisher: Your Online Publicist

Published Date: January 2022

Book Genre: Children’s Book


About the Author:


The author of this book also has five other books in print: Two books of poetry, “In The Age of Youth”, and “Living On Dreams”, as well as two satirical memoirs, “I Have Mine…Show Me Yours” and “Waking Up Naked”. The most recent book is a traveler’s guide to living in Mexico. Christine Mach-Handgis, was the watercolor artist and illustrator of “Teeny Tiny Tammy.” The Story of “Teeny Tiny Tammy” is the culmination of thirty years of perspective, penned from the original fairytale theme. It remains one of the best writing moments of the author’s life.