MFLCares Gives Back to Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515)

Midwest Family Lending’s Curvin Larson presents Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pi515 is MFLCares’ featured charity this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa – As many are counting down the days ‘til Christmas with chocolate, toys & even pet treats, it seems fitting our MFLCares charity for December creates opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering & math — hence, counting 😊) skills, work-based learning, entrepreneurship, and innovation for local, underserved youth.

Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) challenges, inspires and teaches technology skills to students with potential. Through innovative programming, the local nonprofit empowers refugee and underserved youth to achieve success, garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.

“We are excited to include another partner in our family of friends,” says Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pi515. “Thank you, Midwest Family Lending. Growing a community that shares our goals for making sure that kids have opportunities to excel is essential.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. Curvin Larson, mortgage loan originator/fulfillment coordinator with our Team Chedester mortgage team nominated Pi515 after learning about its innovative impact from local news coverage.

“I was looking for a new kind of cause for us to support through our MFLCares program this year,” Curvin says. “And I loved what I’d seen and heard from Nancy about what they’re doing to change the lives of youth in our community. Working for another organization with a similar focus in the past has made me a believer in the real world impact of organizations like Pi515.”

About Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515)

Mwirotsi, a Kenyan immigrant, has dedicated her life to advocating for underrepresented individuals including refugees, young women and people of color. She believes success comes from opportunity. While helping refugee mothers in the community obtain jobs, she realized that their children needed support too. She understood these students could be the first in their families to complete high school or attend college. And she wanted to create a pathway for their success.

In 2014, her nonprofit Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) was born. And seven years later, Nancy and Pi515 have seen more than 100 students graduate high school and seek post-secondary education annually. She has provided these youth with confidence and skills for the future. These skills start with an afterschool STEM education. And this develops into a personal relationship with each student, allowing them to garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.

Giving Youth the {Code} to Succeed

Pi515’s vision is to ensure that Pi515 students are exposed to coding, innovation and critical thinking. Mwirotsi and her team hope to change lives by offering learning opportunities, exposing students to real-life skills and creating an environment that encourages determination to overcome problems.

This innovative non-profit creates pathways to success in STEM-related careers for diverse youth from low-income families. It does so by partnering with industry professionals who teach coding and other STEM-related skills augmented with career-focused soft skills. Industry professionals teach high school students and empower them to mentor and share these skills with middle school students. In turn, this prepares students for a future that includes continuing education and employment in Iowa’s growing tech sector.

“Work has shifted, and more so after the pandemic,” Mwirortsi says. “Current job listings indicate where things are going; most employers now require digital skills and automation to take over some jobs. We have been at the forefront of Tech-Ed innovation. Our model prepares kids for future work and out of poverty. We have seen 100 plus low-income young people get into college and careers each year.”

How You Can Help


Pi515 is always looking for community members who share its mission and vision to serve local students. By offering your time and talents to Pi515, you can help challenge, inspire and teach technology skills to students with potential. And your time will help empower refugee and underserved youth to achieve success, garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.


End of the Year Giving 2021 — Give your tax deductible gift to Pi515 by December 31!

Upcoming Event: Girls’ Entrepreneurship Summit — 3/26/22-4/30/22

Pi515 is hosting its second Girls’ Entrepreneurship Summit through a partnership with John Pappajohn and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. The six-week program will support and mentor young women ages 11-22 to make their business ideas a reality. They’ll learn how to start a business, create concepts, develop budgets, and business, financial and marketing skills.

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Check out our calendar to learn more about the great causes MFLCares has supported this year.

The future of work is creating space to honor young people’s leadership. We will be driven by the desire to elevate young people to create, design and innovate to not just use future technology but build it.

Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pi515

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