YouthWORKS has announced a second year, $75,000 grant from the Bechtel Foundation to support the after-school Academic Program, coordinated by Straight Talk on Prison (STOP) and its Executive Director Pedro Lespier.
This year’s funding is a 50 percent increase over last year’s grant.
The S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation generally supports the development of future leaders in the business community. The YouthWORKS grant represents an award to the most ethnically diverse, at-risk community that the foundation has ever funded.
YouthWORKS has partnered with the National Park Service to assist with the development of the service-learning component of its project. The classroom-based portion is implemented by STOP, with a curriculum based on the National Crime Prevention Council’s CommunityWORKS program.
Participants in the Academic Program have provided over 1,000 hours of volunteer labor throughout the community since January, including assistance on the Edible Garden and Bioswale projects on the Richmond Greenway.
Volunteers have also built planter boxes for the Maritime Children’s Academy and assisted with staffing city sponsored events such as the Compost/Fruit Tree Give-Away, the grand opening of the Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront Headquarters and, most recently Juneteenth.