Pi515 receives $100,000 donation from John Pappajohn, partners with entrepreneurial centers throughout Iowa

Des Moines nonprofit Pi515 has received a $100,000 donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist John Pappajohn to help grow and expand the program.

Founded in 2014 by Nancy Mwirotsi, Pi515 is a Des Moines-based nonprofit organization that empowers disadvantaged youth to succeed by teaching them technology skills.

Along with the donation, Pi 515 will partner with the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers throughout the state. Through the partnership, Pi 515 students will be able to engage directly with the five Pappajohn Centers’ faculty, staff and students.

Mwirotsi says she hopes to refine Pi515’s curriculum so that students who participate can earn college credit.

“Right now when the students do these classes, they’re not earning any credit. I’m really excited about looking into that and seeing how we can make that happen,” said Mwirotsi. “Having this credit will be really good for them and would be some type of incentive.”

Mwirotsi says she also hopes to hire a new employee soon to help her manage the program.

Earlier this year, Mwirotsi was awarded a $10,000 Nation of Neighbors grant from Royal Neighbors of America, one of the first and largest women-led insurers in the country.

That grant money is being used to expand her Girls Entrepreneurial Summit program that focuses on educating young women on business basics including planning, financials, marketing, and digital promotion. The summit will continue Pi515’s work of introducing girls to careers in STEM fields.

Previous coverage

Nancy Mwirotsi: Rethinking STEM education & distance learning -May 26, 2020

Pi515 donates 30 laptops to low-income students during coronavirus -March 26, 2020

Pi515: Using technology to break the cycle of poverty -July 12, 2017