PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Family YMCA has received a $125,000 grant from the WGBH Educational Foundation to teach STEM engineering and mathematics to Latinx middle schoolers.

After receiving the grant at the end of last year, the Pawtucket Family YMCA began implementing the pilot program, known as Design Squad Latinx, during this summer. It will continue to run the program throughout the school year. Funding from the grant is available through April of 2022. 

The Pawtucket Family YMCA expects to serve 100 to 150 Latinx youth in grades 6 to 8 at 11 locations, focusing on communities in Pawtucket, Central Falls, Lincoln, Providence, and Woonsocket. The Pawtucket Family YMCA will be partnering with other YMCA locations as well as other nonprofit organizations to host the program. 

“This program continues our commitment to providing academic support for young people in our community. During the pandemic we served as a virtual learning center, ensuring students had access to WiFi and a supportive environment. Now we are building on that work by encouraging Latinx youth to pursue their interest in STEM engineering and math,” said Reggie Jean, Executive Director of the Pawtucket Family YMCA. 

The grant was awarded to the YMCA with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. 

“The Pawtucket Family YMCA was selected as a recipient of the funding by WGBH, which is a a reflection of our commitment to education and youth development,” Jean said. “It also serves our goal of ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work and the communities we serve.” 

About the YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The YMCA of Pawtucket is comprised of five branches across the state: Pawtucket Family YMCA and Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center in Pawtucket, MacColl YMCA in Lincoln, Westwood YMCA in Coventry and Woonsocket YMCA.