'Micro-grant' powers 10-year-old's idea for radio program

Ten-year-old Oluwatobi Busari received a grant to start a radio program geared toward children. Oluwatobi is flanked by Amy Worsham, chair of Little BIG Idea Grant committee, and Oluwatobi’s father, Idris.

GOSHEN — Little BIG Idea Grant committee members on Friday awarded their seventh “micro-grant” to an Elkhart County resident who is younger than 18.

Using the $1,093 grant, 10-year-old Oluwatobi Busari plans to create an ongoing music and information radio program aimed at children.

Oluwatobi does the weather updates on Friday evening broadcasts at Radio Horizonte, a bilingual community radio station, based in Goshen. The committee made its presentation during a break in the broadcast.

Normally, grants are limited to $1,000, but committee members decided to also cover the $93 difference to pay for sound, recording and mixing equipment, organizers said. 

While it’s the seventh time someone younger than 18 received a Little BIG Idea Grant since the program’s inception in 2017, other grant winners have been involved with creative, fun and engaging projects involving children.

Among the seven grants that have gone to 18-and-younger applicants have been projects such as Jaylyn Stofleth’s Shine with Slime event in Goshen and Branston Finefrock’s Friendly Friday project in Nappanee. In addition, another 12 projects were either for students or carried out by students, including Goshen Youth Art’s Faces project, Concord High School’s Heroes of Hope and a sculpture project involving Elkhart Central High School art students.

The Little BIG Idea Grant is a micro-grant program launched with funding from the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. The grants are intended to inspire fun, love, creativity and community through programs, events and projects that celebrate life in Elkhart County. Successful applicants receive up to $1,000 to pursue their ideas and help make their idea a reality.

Since August 2017, the Little BIG Idea Grant has provided $55,000 to 59 projects from Goshen to Middlebury to Nappanee to Elkhart. The grant program has helped pumpkins race down a street in Middlebury, artists mount displays in Elkhart, Goshen and Nappanee, and spread positive messages of encouragement at Concord High School.

Ideas can be submitted at www.littlebigideagrant.com. Each month, a volunteer committee reviews the applications and selects projects for a grant.

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