The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded the YMCA of Central Stark County a $100,000 grant for the creation of a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program. These educational classes will not only occur at YMCA facilities but also at YMCA before- and after-school sites at local schools.
The “STEM at the Y” initiative will focus on college and career readiness, including workforce development for minorities. Year-round activities will nurture students’ curiosity, creativity and critical-thinking skills in subjects ranging from biology to robotics to computer programming. Funds from the AEP Foundation will be used to hire and train staff, purchase curriculum and hands-on materials, and support summer and afterschool programs.
“AEP and the AEP Foundation are committed to outreach, particularly in supporting nonprofits and other community organizations through volunteering, sponsorships and donations,” said AEP Ohio Customer & External Affairs Manager Jina Duplain. “Strengthening the efforts in our communities is very important to us, especially when it comes to higher education. STEM is one of AEP’s pillars of community support, so this partnership is an ideal match, with the program helping to guide kids in Canton on future career opportunities.”
The YMCA of Central Stark County offers programs for people of all ages, races, religions and incomes with a mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. STEM will become the fourth leg of the organization’s “Y on the Fly” programming. The other three include:
- Physical activity, healthy living and nutrition education for youths
- Physical activity, healthy living and socialization for seniors
- Food insecurity
“We are ecstatic to partner with AEP in launching our STEM at the Y Initiative,” said Michael Brown, director of community development at the YMCA of Central Stark County. “What excites us the most is that we will be able to incorporate the STEM curriculum during out-of-school time across multiple program platforms. Our staff and volunteers look forward to working with AEP in shining the spotlight on the importance of STEM education and the many careers available in STEM fields.”