CHANDLER, AZ (MARCH 17, 2021) – ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth in Chandler recently received a $50,000 grant from Fiesta Bowl Charities. The grant will support ICAN’s free afterschool programs for at-risk youth, which have expanded in the midst of the pandemic.

“Throughout a year of so much uncertainty, ICAN was able to not only persevere, but to grow and expand services,” stated Shelby Pedersen, ICAN CEO. “ICAN’s dynamic team of dedicated individuals adjusted and changed the program continually throughout the year, adapting to meet the needs of the community. The investment from Fiesta Bowl Charities is helping bring our expansion goals to life.”

The pandemic brought about an opportunity to enact ICAN’s expansion goals to serve more youth, as the program is historically on a waitlist for services. 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%). The expansion allows the opportunity for ICAN to bring the program directly to youth, at their schools. This also frees up much valued space at ICAN’s main facility to allow more youth to enroll in the high-demand program. The grant from Fiesta Bowl Charities will support this continued and evolving growth strategy, as ICAN has future plans to continue growing.

“We are committed to enhancing the lives of Arizonans and by supporting ICAN and their amazing grassroots efforts, we are collectively making a meaningful difference,” said Patrick Barkley, Chair of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “Giving back to the Arizona community has been core to the Fiesta Bowl mission since we were founded 50 years ago, from our Board of Directors to Yellow Jacket Committee, volunteers and staff.”

ICAN was among 44 nonprofit organizations across the state of Arizona that benefitted from Fiesta Bowl Charities grant funding in the 2020-21 season. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl and various community events throughout the year, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted $16 million in charitable giving the last five years alone.

“The last year has been incredibly challenging for us all and that is why it is very important that the Fiesta Bowl still deliver these necessary funds to ICAN,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. “The heroes are nonprofits like ICAN across Arizona who use these funds to improve people’s lives, right where they need it. We are part of this community and it’s our mission to give back to the community.”

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