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SUSD's Monica Luna selected for 2017 SVP Fast Pitch
victorm1's picture
By Victor Mercado
Director of Public Information
SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 / MODIFIED OCT 19, 2017 08:40 AM

Monica Luna, a Program Specialist, with Sunnyside’s Teenagers as Parents Program (TAPP) was selected to join sixteen non-profit leaders as part of this year’s Fast Pitch competition. Fast Pitch, a program of Social Venture Partners Tucson, is one of the most-recognized innovation and social entrepreneurship programs in Southern Arizona. The program is modeled on venture capital funding competitions and helps organizations define their impact to better communicate their vision and increase their fundraising capacity.

Individuals applying for the program must define a social problem and make a compelling case as to why their organization’s approach is better than existing models addressing the same problem. In pitching the TAPP program to the selection committee, Monica cited the unique components of the program that support teenage parents: Case management, prenatal/parenting courses, and the work of Sunnyside’s Infant Center—staffed by full-time employees and student assistants who oversee the development of up to 10 infants. In addition, the program offers college scholarships, transportation, and child care for high school students and college students during their first year if enrolled full-time.

When asked why she is so passionate about the program, Monica, a graduate of the University of Arizona who worked at Banner University Medical Center in the Mother/Baby Unit recalls her own story, "I am living proof that TAPP works. I was 16 years old when I became pregnant with my daughter. I was not sure how I was going to manage going to school and make sure my child was taken care of. This program gave me the parenting skills and the opportunity I needed to not stay behind."

Fast Pitch participants will learn from leaders in the business, philanthropic and nonprofit communities as well as receive training in storytelling from mentors and pitch coaches. If selected to the final round, Monica will pitch TAPP to a panel of judges during the program's signature event on November 9, at the Leo Rich Theater. Since the program's inception in 2015, more than $344,000 has been awarded and granted to Fast Pitch participating organizations. Previous winners include: Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARCEF), Children's Clinics, the YWCA Southern Arizona, and more.

Click here to learn more about the TAPP Program

Click here to view the 2016 Fast Pitch Competition