(FLINT, Mich., February 2, 2016) – For the first time ever, YouthQuest will open its afterschool enrichment program to all students (grades 7-12) who live in Flint – regardless of where they attend school.
The program is available at no cost to participants and currently serves more than 2,000 K-12 students at 15 sites in Flint Community Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and International Academy of Flint.
“In addition to providing academic support, YouthQuest encourages students to explore their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), noncompetitive sports and the arts,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers YouthQuest. “They go on anywhere from 15 to 20 excursions during the school year, take part in a number of volunteer projects and participate in a variety of student-created clubs. We’re excited to extend those kind of opportunities to a wider audience of Flint residents.”
The program also places considerable emphasis on college and career preparation, with offerings including:
- ACT and SAT prep classes, study skills and test taking
- Tutoring programs in partnership with local colleges
- Career exploration and job shadow programs
Students who join during the open-enrollment period, which ends March 1, will attend the program – offered three hours a day, four days a week – at either Northwestern High School or Southwestern Classical Academy.
By opening enrollment to students who are homeschooled or participate in Schools of Choice, the program can better create an environment that encourages inclusivity and collaboration, according to Sharri Newman, Director of YouthQuest.
“We want the students to understand that they are part of something larger than just themselves and the individual schools they represent,” Newman said. “We want them to feel as though they’re part of a community.”
The benefits of programs like YouthQuest go far beyond giving students something to do after the last bell rings for the day. In fact, research shows that students who participate in high-quality, afterschool programs earn higher grades, have better peer relations and are more likely to graduate.
YouthQuest will begin advertising its open-enrollment in early February, with TV ad airing on Nickelodeon, BET and TBS, and radio ads to follow mid-month.
The program will accept applications from Flint residents in grades 7-12 through March 1. Limited space is available. For more information, or to download an applications, click here.
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. The program is administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. For more information, visit www.yquest.org.
About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Serving the community for over 100 years, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is a premier business membership organization unlike most chambers of commerce. In addition to traditional member services, our responsibility includes serving as the lead economic development agency for Flint & Genesee, marketing tourism, youth and business training, and a Shared Services Center.
Collaboration is one of our core strengths. To affect real and lasting change, inclusiveness and collaboration are keys to success. We form partnerships with private businesses, education and governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels, as well as grant-making foundations to fuel economic growth and bring positive change to the region. For more information, visit www.flintandgenesee.org. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.