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Agencies get more than $127,000 to help East St. Louis youth

unitedwayestlUnited Way of Greater St. Louis recently awarded five one-time community enhancement grants totaling $127,200 to local nonprofits, community agencies and faith-based organizations that provide programs and services for youth in East St. Louis.

Organizations receiving the grants were carefully determined by a team of volunteers, which considered agencies offering enrichment, cultural, educational, employment and recreational opportunities for area youth in East St. Louis.

“This funding will support out-of-school time programming that helps prepare local youth for school and life through activities like leadership development, relationship and life skills, mentoring, recreation, education and career exploration,” said Francella Jackson, chair of United Way’s East St. Louis One-Time Grants Committee. “It is important that we all focus on investing in and providing all youth with positive, enriching opportunities.”

The following organizations each received a $25,440 community enhancement grant:

Christian Activity Center will use the grant to fund its Pathways/Teen Employment program, which provides assistance to youth preparing for college through ACT prep, admissions advising, campus visits, financial aid advising and writing workshops.

Community Lifeline will support its STEM-ology Out-of-School Time and Mentoring program that provides children and teens ages 5-16 with curriculums focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation will provide activities to youth ages 3-21 to help improve their reading, math, communication, arts and decision-making skills.

Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House will use the grant for its Teen REACH program to give young people opportunities to improve academic performance and participate in recreation, sports, cultural and service learning activities.

Nu Chi Foundation’s Project Manhood Program provides educational sessions, leadership conferences and field activities for African American male youth.

PHOTO: (Bottom row from left: Richard Weathers, Nu Chi Foundation; Chet Cantrell, Christian Activity Center; Reona Wise, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House; Wyvetta Granger, Community Lifeline; and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation. Top row from left: United Way of Greater St. Louis – Illinois Division Auxiliary Board Members Burdett Rice, Peggy Lewis LeCompte, East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, Francella Jackson and Mel Holland.)

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