Strengthening and Celebrating Youth Development
Lincoln Financial Foundation aids the ongoing efforts to provide a strong and healthy foundation for Manchester’s inner city grade school students by awarding The Granite YMCA with a $25,000 grant in support of the START Program.
The YMCA’s START Program, operating five days a week, is an after school program serving low-income students from Henry Wilson and Beech Street Schools in Manchester. Curriculum includes two hours daily of academic tutoring, physical fitness, life skills, nutrition, community building, and teamwork. With eighty-nine percent of participants speaking a language other than English at home, START also helps families who need support understanding American culture and schools.
“Lincoln Financial has been a long-time supporter and partner for our START program,” said John Harris, President and CEO of The Granite YMCA. “Thanks to their support—as well as other local partners—we are able to provide at risk youth with the opportunity that all children deserve, to discover who they are and what they have the potential to achieve.”
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. This grant is part of Lincoln Financials’ annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being and arts programs.
The YMCA’s START program—along with its companion program STAY (which focuses on middle and junior high students)—is part of the YMCA’s Youth Opportunities Unlimited Program. The program is centered on providing support and mentorship for students and reducing the dropout rate in Manchester, which has one of the highest dropout rates in the state.
The Granite YMCA’s daily mission is focused on working with youth whose lives are complicated by a number of risk factors including poverty, exposure to violence, substance abuse, poor school performance, engagement in risk-taking behaviors, or significant social-emotional difficulties. The YMCA Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) programs provide support to students who would otherwise fall through the cracks. Ninety percent of enrolled participants in Y dropout prevention programs live in very low- to low-income families.
“Now, more than ever is a critical time for our youth. The services provided through our Youth Opportunities Unlimited programs help meet a community goal of making sure youth receive the support they need to learn, grow, thrive, and successfully move to graduation,” concluded Mr. Harris.
About Lincoln Financial Foundation
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group. Under the Foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and economic/workforce development. To learn more, please visit www.lfg.com
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2016, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at over $1.63 million to 19,872 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.