Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development.
"Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said.
JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister
The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves.
LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.
Milton Hershey School | November 14, 2022
Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) announced yesterday at an event at Eden Resort & Suites in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that it will open three Early Childhood Education Centers (ECECs) in Lancaster County to serve children from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds. The cost-free Centers will be located in Lancaster City, New Danville, and Elizabethtown. At yesterday's event, Lancaster County community leaders and child advocates heard from CHS and Milton Hershey School (MHS) leadership about their approach to providing accessible early childhood education. CHS intends to support and work collaboratively with existing Lancaster County organizations to serve local children and families. City of Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace also spoke, explaining how the addition of the CHS Centers will positively impact the broader Lancaster County community. The three CHS Centers in Lancaster County are part of a $350 million initiative to initially develop six ECECs in the state as subsidiaries of MHS. Each will offer a non-residential, year-round core early learning program with a curriculum designed to enhance children's educational, social, and emotional development. It also will provide children with nutritious meals, transportation, and other needed supplies, along with integrated support services to families of enrolled children. All of this will be provided with all costs covered to qualifying families. Yesterday's announcement was suitably made during Founders Week at MHS, which celebrates the anniversary of Milton and Catherine Hershey establishing the school 113 years ago. The Hersheys' legacy is deeply rooted in Lancaster County, making this expansion especially meaningful. Milton Hershey spent his childhood in Bart Township and, as an adult, opened the Lancaster Caramel Company. Lancaster County is also where Milton and Catherine Hershey spent the early years of their marriage and invested in the Lancaster community through their support of St. Joseph's Hospital, Franklin & Marshall College, and Catherine's service as an inaugural member of the Lancaster Charity Society.
The Lancaster County CHS Centers are expected to begin opening in 2026.
ABOUT CATHERINE HERSHEY SCHOOLS FOR EARLY LEARNING
Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning will provide a cost-free educational, social, and cognitive program to children from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds through the development of initially six Early Childhood Education Centers. The Centers are subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School and will be staffed and operated independently of the Milton Hershey School core model. For more information, visit chslearn.org.
ABOUT MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL
Milton Hershey School is one of the world's best private schools, where qualifying students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade live on campus and receive an exceptional educational experience—with all costs covered.
Snapology | November 08, 2022
Snapology, the No. 1 children's STEM/STEAM franchise and part of the world's first Youth Enrichment franchise platform company Unleashed Brands, is celebrating National STEM Day (Nov. 8) after making tremendous strides in STEAM educational enrichment opportunities, franchise offerings, and helping millions of kids across the country develop foundational STEAM skills. The company is consistently seeing significant growth through franchise signings that will continue into 2023 as demand increases for STEAM-based learning programs nationwide. Since its acquisition and joining Unleashed Brands in July of 2021, the brand has been able to elevate its franchise offerings by launching a reimagined Discovery Center, developing a new business model with "Snapology-in-Urban Air," as well as continuing to offer mobile Snapology programs that allow franchisees to reach more families in the community. For franchisees, these redesigned business models offer a variety of revenue opportunities and the freedom to operate year-round. Year to date, the brand has opened 11 classrooms inside Urban Air Adventure Parks, seven community-based locations and two Discovery Center with one of the revamped Discovery Centers being the first-of-its-kind joint location with sister brand The Little Gym International. Snapology has also invested in perfecting the customer experience by offering new membership programs and gamifying education through their "Passport" program, which aims to encourage children to take classes to earn stamps and degrees to win swag and other prizes. This program entices children to continue their Snapology classes by creating incentives for children to learn fundamental STEAM skills, develop critical social skills and create recurring revenue for franchisees. Since the Unleashed Brands acquisition, Snapology has doubled franchise signings over the past year. In 2023, there are plans to open 15 new Discovery Center locations throughout the country, including debuts in New Braunfels and Cedar Park, TX, Lexington, SC, North Tampa, FL, Rogers, AR, Harrisonburg, VA, Troy, MI, San Diego, CA, and Lehi, UT.
"We're incredibly grateful for our company's growth and success which reflects on the progress being made to revolutionize the way kids learn about STEAM, This year, National STEM Day is extra special to our team as we reflect on our success but more importantly, the impact Snapology has made to inspire the next generation of STEAM leaders."
Laura Coe, Brand President & CEO for Snapology.
The key to success has been the brand's understanding and commitment to play an active role in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians through excitement in STEAM concepts at an early age. Snapology encourages social skills and teamwork by teaching science, technology, engineering, art, math, and literacy concepts in a fun way. The brand uses a research-based curriculum, designed to be inclusive to all learning abilities with a hands-on teaching approach that uses LEGO® Bricks and other building toys, along with coding, video game design and robotics that encourage the perfect mix of play, academic enrichment, and social development.
Founded in 2010, Snapology is the #1 children's enrichment franchise in the country, giving children the opportunity to learn through play with more than 80 enriching, interactive STEAM and STEM programs. With over 180 locations in the U.S. and Internationally, Snapology is quickly growing and impacting children throughout the world with its balance of educational enrichment, social development, and fun. For more information about Snapology including franchise opportunities, visit www.Snapology.com.
About Unleashed Brands
Unleashed Brands, currently includes portfolio brands Urban Air, Snapology, The Little Gym, XP League, Class 101 and Premier Martial Arts and was founded to curate and grow a portfolio of the most innovative and profitable brands that help kids learn, play, and grow. Over the last 10 years, the team at Unleashed Brands has built a proven platform and know-how for scaling businesses focused on serving families. Its mission is to impact the lives of every kid by providing fun, engaging, and inspiring experiences that help them become who they are destined to be.