Empowering afterschool program for high school students gets
boost from community Foundations.
For many Waterbury students, the end of the school day means the start of an afternoon without direction, without productive activities, and sometimes without supervision.
Afterschool programs provide essential services like a safe and supervised learning environment, enriching activities, snacks, and caring and inspiring mentors.
For youth and families in need, Waterbury Youth Services’ Linking Academics to Life has filled the gap for high-quality, engaging afterschool programs for high school students in the city for more than 10 years.
“Each year, 50 youth come through the Linking Academics to Life (LAL) program,” says Kathi M. Crowe, Waterbury Youth Services’ Executive Director. “Youth not only have access to a range of academic supports, but they are also paired with mentors who track their development as they navigate through their tricky high school years. The growth and development we see month to month is amazing.”
In a survey issued by the Connecticut Youth Association Services Survey, youth in LAL reported: 96% felt safe in the program, 90% learned new skills and can use the skills when they leave the program, 92% got the help they needed, and 88% trusted the staff.
LAL, which costs approximately $172,000 to run each year, is funded 100% by donations from private foundations, local businesses and individuals. Most recently, Waterbury Youth Services received support for LAL from the following organizations:
Peoples’ United Foundation: $3,000 for stipends, program supplies and materials
Elisha Leavenworth Foundation: $12,850 for personnel costs, supplies and materials
Thomaston Savings Bank: $2,500 for LAL’s Senior Prep component.
Other key funders include American Savings Foundation, The United Way of Greater Waterbury, and MacDermid.
“We always have a waiting list for LAL,” says Crowe. “We work hard to grow this program each year. The community has been incredibly supportive, but this program could always use more funding.”
To learn more about LAL, contact Olivia Dudley at (203)573-0264. Waterbury Youth Services is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charity serving 1,000 youth and their families each year through 22 programs including: Juvenile Justice, Mentoring, Truancy Prevention, Homeless Youth Resource Center, Youth & Family Emergency Services, Afterschool Programs, and Child Abuse Interdisciplinary Team. For more information, visit www.waterburyyouthservices.org.
"Youth not only have access to a range of academic supports, but they are also paired with mentors who track their development as they navigate through their tricky high school years. The growth and development we see month to month is amazing.”