ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth in Chandler recently received a $40,000 grant from the Bank of America. The grant will support ICAN’s free afterschool programs, a social justice imperative that makes childcare accessible to all families.

“The pandemic brought to light the critical need for free, quality childcare for working families,” stated Shelby Pedersen, ICAN CEO. “Our program is keeping parents employed and is supporting the academic and social emotional needs of a vulnerable youth population. Bank of America is a long-standing supporter of our programs, and their commitment is essential in helping us grow to reach more youth.”

Across the country, for every one child in an afterschool program, three are on waitlists. (Afterschool Alliance). Eighty-nine % of parents agree that having their child enrolled in afterschool programs helped them keep their jobs (Afterschool Alliance). ICAN opened sites at Galveston Elementary and Hartford Elementary this year (the percentage of youth who qualify for free and reduced lunch at Galveston is 87% and Hartford is 84%). This expansion allows the opportunity for ICAN to bring the program directly to youth, at their schools. The expansion also frees up much valued space at ICAN’s main facility to allow more youth to enroll in the high-demand program.

“The strategic investment into immediate short-term and longer-term needs has been key to ensuring those who need it have access to services as society begins to safely reopen,” said Benito Almanza, President, Bank of America Phoenix. “By investing in ICAN, Bank of America provides philanthropic capital that helps children and families take part in economic and social progress, enabling greater success across our entire community.”

Bank of America’s support for ICAN is part of the company’s recent investment of more than $1.3 million in grants to 48 Phoenix nonprofits that help drive economic opportunity and upward mobility for individuals and families and put them on a path toward stability and success. The funding targets two key drivers for improving economic mobility: basic needs fundamental to building life-long stability, including access to food, shelter and health services, and access to educational and workforce development services building pathways to employment, including providing resources to rebuild careers that may have been impacted by the pandemic. The company also recently announced a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity in vulnerable communities. The commitment supports investments that address racial justice, advocacy and equality for people and communities of color and further accelerates work already underway.

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