Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne receives donations to fund STEM education program

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne received donations from several organizations to help fund STEM education including Project Blueprint/Building Futures for Future Builders.

A $180,000 check was presented to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne by Indiana Michigan Power on behalf of the AEP Foundation.  This donation by the AEP Foundation is the single largest donation to have been given to the STEM program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.

NIPSCO, a long term partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, also presented a $30,000 NiSource Charitable Foundation grant to put toward welding equipment, tools and materials for the new partnership room called the Do it Best Partnership room.  Do it Best is another partner of the club.

General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly also announced that it will be providing the club with a $10,000 community grant for the STEM programs under the clubs, SPARK (Special Pathways for At Risk Kids) umbrella.

The STEM education program has many other partnerships, for instance, the Career Academy and Ivy Tech.  That collaborative effort is focused on creating interest and to better prepare at risk youth for future STEM careers.

Michael Kinder and Sons and the Northeast Indiana Building Trades have also been working with the club.  The provided tours for members during the construction of the new building on top of developing the overall program plan.

The members of the building trades will work with club members year-round to help develop an interest in various trades such as carpentry, welding, sheet metal, electrical, ironwork and more.  They anticipate that over 300 members will be touched by the program throughout the upcoming school year.

Joe Jordan, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne said “We want to thank I7M, the AEP Foundation, NIPSCO Foundation and GM for their generous gifts that will advance science, technology, engineering, and math education.  Their gifts and the involvement of the Northeast Indiana Building Trades and Michael Kinder and Sons will help our youth learn the value of STEM and the opportunities in vocational trades.”

Kim Sabrosky, Director of External Affairs for I&M said “Giving our children and teens more access to science, technology, engineering, and math educational opportunities is a high priority for the AEP Foundation and Indiana Michigan Power.  The opportunity to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne on STEM education the past several years has been very rewarding.”

Dana Berkes, Public Affairs Manager at NIPSCO said “At NIPSCO, we have a proud tradition of service to our communities through our funding of charitable organizations and volunteering across our territory.  With a focus on STEM and workforce education, we’re committed to preparing the next generation with the “tools” they need to succeed in the future.”

Mike Thomas, General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant Executive Director said “General Motors and UAW Local 2209 recognizes the impact that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne continues to make.  The new building and STEM/SPARK program helps equip our next generation with the skills that support a strong manufacturing future.”

Jerillee Mosier, Chancellor for Ivy Tech Fort Wayne said “The partnership between Boys & Girls Club, Northeast Indiana Building Trades and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne is important to the construction industry.  This partnership will help create awareness of opportunities within the trades and “hands on experiences” that they can build on as they grow older and embark upon their careers.”

Darryl Esterline, President of NEIBT said “From the beginning of construction, the building trades jumped in with both feet.  We are fully integrated into curriculum planning and funding.”



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