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The Garage Community & Youth Center was born in 2001 when a local pastor and businessman recognized the opportunity to transform a reclaimed garage into a community center. The organization continues to thrive in Kennett Square. This first success launched the desire to open a second location to serve more youth in the surrounding communities. In 2011, the West Grove location was opened. The mission of The Garage is to empower youth to pursue their academic, relational, and spiritual potential. Their desired impact is to help youth make wise decisions about themselves, their core convictions, their relationships, their educational pursuits, and interactions with their communities. They help students begin a cycle of hopefulness by acknowledging and taking steps to overcome life challenges by engaging in Garage programs, trusting The Garage as a second home, taking part in shaping activities, and enjoying Garage experiences. Participants receive homework support and are introduced to activities that promote academic and social-emotional growth during otherwise unstructured and unsupervised after-school and summertime hours. Currently, The Garage is not able to meet the number of requests they receive for their services. Further, in August 2020, The Garage recognized the need for programming to address the “COVID Slide” in education. The population of The Garage is already marginalized academically because of various barriers, including inadequate home support, delayed English language acquisition, and cultural priorities regarding education. The impact of COVID-19 was deep and detrimental to their population, as students struggled with a lack of technology resources, among them up-to-date and functioning devices, access to the internet, and lack of technology troubleshooting resources in multiple languages. High-school-age students were expected to provide childcare and educational support for younger siblings, forgoing their own achievement. Further, many parents of Garage students continued to work long hours in the agricultural industry and speak little to no English. This hampered them from being both physically and academically present and supportive.  

Year Awarded: 2022

Grant Type: Core Mission

Focus Area: Education

Grant Amount: $100,000