The grant will enable YouthQuest, an afterschool enrichment program developed by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, to expand its afterschool activities, which are designed around six core content areas — academic support, the visual and performing arts, enrichment activities, physical fitness and healthy behaviors, youth development and leadership skill building, and family and community engagement — to all Flint Community Schools, including the district's two high schools. Over the course of the year, team leaders and classroom guides will receive forty to sixty hours of training in a broad range of topics, including curriculum delivery, data collection, and program evaluation. In addition to Flint schools, the program will be implemented at two Carman-Ainsworth elementary schools and the International Academy of Flint, for a total of eighteen sites.
The Mott Foundation has supported YouthQuest in Flint and Genesee County since 2001, providing nearly $16 million in support of Bridges to the Future, its predecessor. Since 2010, the foundation has awarded an additional $14.7 million for YouthQuest afterschool programming.
"Research has shown that too many high school students have no place to go, nothing to do, and no one to be with," said Mott Foundation program officer Jennifer Liversedge. "We hope that by expanding YouthQuest to a K–12 model, not only will more area children and young people have access to a safe and supportive space for learning, but that the hours after school will be used more productively."