Funding to Benefit Middle School Youth in Flint and Genesee County

(FLINT, Mich. – June 12, 2017) – The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce today announced that YouthQuest is one of 18 afterschool programs in the United States to receive an “Aim High” grant award from the New York Life Foundation.

More than 450 applications were submitted for this competitive program, which awarded a total of $750,000 in Aim High grants this year. YouthQuest – which serves about 2,000 students in Flint and Genesee County each year – is one of four programs to receive the top prize of $100,000 over two years.

The Aim High grant awards are part of a national partnership between the Afterschool Alliance and the New York Life Foundation that will provide $1.95 million to middle school out-of-school time programs nationwide over the next three years.

This year’s awardees were chosen based on their efforts to help underserved eighth-graders reach ninth grade on time – a key indicator for students’ future success.

“We are thrilled to receive such generous support from the New York Life Foundation,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “Middle school can be a challenging time, so one of our goals is to help prepare these students for success in high school and beyond. We take that work very seriously, and we’re delighted to see our efforts recognized with this award.”

Aim High recipients are all afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs, selected as part of a nationwide competitive application process. The Afterschool Alliance convened a panel of reviewers, including leaders in the out-of-school time field, researchers, program directors and experts on quality programming to assess applicants and recommend grant awards.

“YouthQuest is doing vital work in the community,” said Marlyn Torres, Senior Program Officer, New York Life Foundation. “We’re delighted to help them provide badly needed support to help our next generation succeed in school and in life. Out-of-school time programs can make a world of difference for students facing the challenging transition to 9th grade, and it’s our privilege to help them do what they do best.”

“Across the nation, afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs are changing lives and creating opportunities for students and their families,” said Jodi Grant, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director. “As with all 18 recipients, YouthQuest is doing inspiring work meeting the needs of the community by keeping students safe, inspiring them to learn, and helping working families.”

Research has shown that high-quality afterschool, expanded-day and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance, and more engaged students.

YouthQuest currently serves more than 350 middle school youth after school and during the summer each year. These students regularly engage in high-quality activities that encourage the exploration of new interests in the areas of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and promote academic achievement, physical fitness, youth leadership and volunteerism.

Looking forward, YouthQuest will use its Aim High funds to reach more youth, as well as increase and enhance its enrichment offerings and academic support for middle school students.

Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $24 million in national middle school OST efforts, supporting organizations that provide nearly 500,000 middle school youth with afterschool and summer programming. Foundation grants have supported an additional 6 million hours of OST programming.


Media Contacts

Elaine Redd Flint & Genesee Chamber (810) 600-1418

Izzi Joseph Flint & Genesee Chamber (810) 600-4071

Lacey S. Siegel New York Life Foundation (212) 576-7937

About The New York Life Foundation Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $240 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit

About The Afterschool Alliance The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at

About YouthQuest YouthQuest is a high-quality, research-based afterschool program offering educational and enrichment activities that engage young minds. Available at 15 sites in the city of Flint and Genesee County, YouthQuest serves nearly 2,000 students in grades K-12 each year. The program is administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with primary support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. For more information, visit