Detroit learning center No Fear Cafe named Small Business Hero, receives $20K

A Detroit learning center was named a Small Business Hero for the work it does to help the community.

With the honor, No Fear Cafe also gets $20,000.

The learning center was started by Alicia McKay in February 2020, just before the Covid pandemic started.

They run what’s called a co-learning center. They have after-school and summer programs, STEAM-focused curriculum, and group events that teach coding, robotics, and Lego building.

"People say, ‘Oh we’re doing engaging programming,’ and they give kids a pencil and paper, and it's like not right," she said. "My office is jam-packed with supplies, so I have wall-to-wall materials for all of our classes because you can’t teach a hands-on class without supplies."

The pandemic forced the center to get creative.

"I had to get creative to keep their attention over Zoom. We did. We mailed out kits. We mailed kits across the country. I had clients in Texas," McKay said.