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Students learn about the art of the pitch at second Get More Opportunities Fund Allocation (Video)




During the second round of Get More Opportunities grant approvals last month, high school students from across the district first learned about how to make a pitch. 

 Ariana Smith, City Club of Cleveland Educational Engagement Manager, and an entrepreneur talked to the students about effective communication and how to convince others to vote for the grants they deem worthy of being funded.  

 “You are on an elevator with Jay-Z and you have 30 seconds to explain to him why your business venture is a great idea, and he should invest,” said Smith. 

 She encouraged students to come up with creative ways to defend the grant proposals they would eventually select in the latest round of funding with MacKenzie Scott’s gift to CMSD.    

The budding student philanthropists didn’t disappoint. They began asking questions of their peers.  

“How many people here by a show of hands have watched a movie?” asked one of the students, who sits on the panel of students that determines how Scott’s $20 million unrestricted gift to the District will be spent.    

 “The Cleveland High School for Digital Arts has worked on a lot of movies, but their equipment is nine years old. That is like having an iPhone 3,” the student funder continued in his quest to make a strong case for Digital Arts.  

The student funders were considering a funding request from a CMSD educator at Digital Arts, who had asked for a grant to replace recording and production equipment.  

She encouraged students come up with creative ways to defend the grant proposals they would eventually select in the lates

 At the June meeting for funding grant proposals,  students considered dozens of funding proposals, including the 43 for which they eventually approved.  

Another example of an intriguing request that caught student’s interest was from an educator who asked for money to buy optical equipment to screen the vision of non-verbal students.  

“I wouldn’t be as good as a student as I am if I didn’t have contacts,” she said.  “But for children who are non-verbal they can’t tell the doctor or their parents they can’t see. This equipment will change that.” 

To date, 76 grants have been approved totaling nearly $800,000.  

For more information and to apply for a grant go to


The following proposals were approved in May:  

 Opp #105 Designing the Digital Future!  

Opp #107 Classroom Gamers  

Opp #112 Help Us Learn the "Secret Stories" of Reading  

Opp #115 Full Bellies Full Hearts!  

Opp #118 Student Carpool  

Opp #12 Music Moves Us  

Opp #122 Help a Scholar Become a Citizen  

Opp #124 Assessments made easy by ESGI  

Opp #129 STEM and STEAM for Enrichment  

Opp #136 Driver's License  

Opp #137 Drivers License  

Opp #139 Digging in Deep with the Science of Reading in Kindergarten.  

Opp #140 Reading Intervention is on the move!  

Opp #141 Japan: Land of the Rising Sun  

Opp #15 Maker Space  


Opp #162 Strive to Drive!  

Opp #164 The Art and Business of Photography  

Opp #165 Driver's License  

Opp #173 Woosah, Calm Space  

Opp #181 Look Good Feel Good!  

Opp #184 Creative Problem Solving  

Opp #190 America Got Talent in Africa  

Opp #2 Sight Enlightenment  

Opp #207 Driving school for school opportunities  

Opp #213 Community Cares  

Opp #214 Yummy Brain Food!  

Opp #220 Food For the Brain  

Opp #226 Rhodes Artistic Adventures - Bringing the Arts Back to Life!  

Opp #230 Something for You  

Opp #238 Factory Fleet: Cruising to Manufacturing Careers  

Opp #28 Great Drive Great Time  

Opp #48 Little Free Library Makeover  

Opp #49 Maker Space for Life Skills  

Opp #51 2023 7th Grade Lock In (We are still working on the name)  

Opp #55 Finance Drivers Education Course  

Opp #57 Traveling RSN  

Opp #64 Write the Vision: Victims of Crime  

Opp #69 Vision screenings for all.  

Opp #74 Learning a Language  

Opp #83 Calm Yourself!  

Opp #90 Lights! Camera! Action - Help us keep film rolling at CHSDA!  

Opp #93 Sisters With Purpose