by Michael Braithwaite, Director of Communications
Q: What do Providence, incredible young people, and PASA have in common?
A: An amazing group of community leaders, collaborative thinkers, and energetic supporters who have championed a level playing field for every single student in the city for a decade.
Last night PASA board member and general all star Alison Eichler graciously hosted the official kick-off event for PASA’s 10th Anniversary Event Planning Committee. As the 30 guests gathered around to hear PASA alum Genesis Sanchez (now a freshman at Rhode Island College) speak about the difference that the AfterZone and Hub made in her life, the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm for what she was saying was palpable.
Genesis might be particularly comfortable with public speaking, but the story she tells isn’t unique to her. Over the last decade, PASA—in partnership with the city, the Providence school district, and hundreds of community-based program providers and teachers—has been lucky to be able to see that 10,000 middle and high school students have access to the highest quality after-school and summer STEM, arts and music, and sports programs possible. All at no cost and regardless of their neighborhood or household income.
Even more exciting, PASA’s AfterZone and Hub participants are graduating high school in droves! Of students that take a total of 50+ days of AfterZone programming in middle school (any programming, not just academic programs), 97% go on to graduate high school. That percentage goes up to 99% if they take over 90 days.
These impressive statistics wouldn’t have been possible without the indefatigable support of the people who gathered in Alison’s garden last night. People like you.
As we pause to look back at the last 10 years, and forward to the next, it’s truly humbling to look around and see the unique community effort that has helped to make sure that Genesis, and thousands more like her, have the opportunity to become articulate, confident young adults, standing in a sunny garden telling their success story to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters.
Want to see photos from the kick-off event? Check our Facebook Page.