Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center

Help Create a Environmental Learning and Action Center Business Plan

“e” Inc, Charlesown, MA


“E” inc., is in its 8th year of award-winning work with low-income children & youth in the Greater Metro Boston. Our partner schools, and the children with whom we work compose the community partners involved. We have experienced ongoing growth and more demand for our programs than that which we can provide at present. Currently, we provide in-depth science investigation residencies for public schoolchildren in the low-income communities of Greater Boston. We have created curricula that capture the interest of children facing academic, social, and economic challenges. By engaging students in the preservation of their resources, connecting them with the science of how to do so, and helping them build skills to make a difference. Ours is a unique coupling of academic support and community involvement that helps young people not just make academic gains but social gains, as well. Students are taught about the value of protecting storm drains, lowering electrical use, discussing climate change with others, protecting trees and wildlife in their respective ecosystems, reducing water use, arranging carpools, and encouraging school-wide recycling.

The Challenge

In its 8th year of providing community-based science and civic action programs for the environment to low-income children and youth, “e” inc. is seeking to grow and develop into a new space and thusly expand its programming abilities. Specifically, “e” inc. requires a wide range of skills to address the problems and barriers posed by a complex project already in the works – specifically, the start-up of our Environmental Learning and Action Center. This new venture, created to broaden the reach and expand the mission, of our non-profit “e” inc., must bring in new revenue so the can be both self-sustaining and possibly, even able to help support our current in-depth science and civics outreach programs in low-income communities (we see 1500 children and youth a year).

An MIT student or students will be challenged by the opportunity to create a business plan to assist in the growth of a environmental science and civic action non-profit. Specifically, the business plan needed for the growth of the non-profit requires help in creating its Environmental Learning and Action Center. The plan, if tailored to fit our programs and goals, will be put into action for this new arm of “e” inc. that is slated to become operational by the end of 2011. Assure that the Environmental Learning and Action Center creates a reliable income stream such that “e” inc.'s programs and operating costs are less dependent upon grants as a revenue stream for the programs that we already run.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

This project requires an individual with an interest in non-profits who has experience with the design of a sophisticated business plan that a small non-profit can execute successfully. We would like someone with an interest in non-profits and/or interested in learning about environmental conservation and/or urban education. We are interested in (a) graduate student(s) who desires non-profit business experience and has the skills to assess our capabilities, the current market, the opportunities available, to supply an executable plan for the future of this new organizational venture. However, we are also open to the opportunity to work with a (set of) student(s) who are interested in the project, skilled in business plan creation, and eager assist us in this task. The students would be working directly with an energetic team of interns, full-time staff members, and a sophisticated board at the non-profit.

Time constraints

Ideally the project could be executed in a year's time, outlining the future for the program into the future for two to five years in the future.


Dr. Ricky Stern
529 Main St., Charlestown, MA 02129


Christine Panzarella
529 Main St., Charlestown, MA 02129

PKG Center Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center's Internships or Fellowships programs. Please check the program descriptions and deadlines and talk to program staff to determine which is most appropriate for your needs and project.

If you want to volunteer or you have funding from outside the PKG Center that enables you to work on this project, that's great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don't use our funds. And remember, the PKG Center staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves.

Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center
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