All posts by Kaleb Brown

Enrichment Programs Helping Children Get a Big Boost form the iFund Grant Program

“This grant will be a huge boost to our Bilingual STEAM Kit Initiative… to help foster school readiness at home.”

– Sandy Cotton, Executive director
Smart STart Central Oklahoma

Children across the OKC metro will have new chances to participate in fun, engaging programs after 18 organizations received $247,000 in grants from the iFund Opportunities for Children program at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

This grant was designed to provide opportunities and enrichment for children ages 0-14 who otherwise would not have access to them. Eligible programs include: school readiness programs for preschoolers; housing, mental health or recreation programs for children in foster care; and services that provide recreation, social and cultural activities for underserved children in our community.

“This grant will be a huge boost to our Bilingual STEAM Kit Initiative,” said Smart Start Central Oklahoma Executive Director Sandy Cotton. “We’ll be able to supply fun science, technology, engineering, and math learning tools to children and their parents to help foster school readiness at home.”

Inspiring Students to Take Flight

Cravin’ Flight Scholarship in Honor of LT. Col. Matt Kincade

There were few things in life Lt. Col. John Matkins “Matt” Kincade loved more than soaring through the open air with the wind behind him and miles upon miles unfolding in front of him. As a child, Matt dreamed of flying like they did in the air shows he watched in Arizona, and in 1998, he made that a reality when he joined the U.S. Navy.

During his distinguished 20-year aviation career, Matt trained to fly seven different fighter aircrafts, completed several specialty trainings and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as well as a land mission to Japan. He logged more than 3,200 hours in a fighter aircraft, including 124 hours of combat time and was lauded for his remarkable performance under strenuous combat conditions.

“I could not imagine a better way to keep his legacy alive than to support students who love aviation as Matt did.”

– Gina Kincade
Wife of lt. col. john matkins “Matt” kincade

In 2013, Matt moved to Oklahoma with his family to join the 5th Training Squadron as an instructor pilot at Vance Air Force Base in Enid. Despite leaving enemy fire behind, after six short years as a flight instructor, the prairie did not seem so safe in 2019 when Matt was killed in a training accident.

To keep his memory alive, Matt’s wife, Gina, established the Cravin’ Flight Scholarship at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Over the past two years, she has worked hard to raise money for the scholarship bringing people together through silent auctions and golf tournaments and raising enough to benefit two student scholarships.

In 2021, Garrett Martin became the first student to receive the Cravin’ Flight Scholarship. “Since receiving this scholarship, I have been able to receive my private pilot’s certificate,” Garrett said. “This scholarship enabled me to achieve this when I never would have financially been able to before.”

By partnering with the Community Foundation, Gina has not only ensured this scholarship will be available to students in perpetuity, but she has also developed an environment where it can continue to grow and benefit even more students in the future.

“I always felt Matt’s life ended far too soon,” Gina said. “Matt loved aviation and loved teaching kids how to fly, and he took a lot of pride in his students. I could not imagine a better way to keep his legacy alive than to support students who love aviation as Matt did.”

Garrett Martin,
Cravin’ Fight Scholarship Recipient

To donate to this scholarship fund, please donate here: