Swarthmore College's Project Blueprints Program Awarded Grant To Serve Local Youth
by Maki Somosot '12
Project Blueprints engages at-risk minority youth from Chester, Pa. with opportunities for academic support, life skills training, personal development, cultural enrichment, and career exploration. The program provides after school programming for more than 30 students. The Crozer-Chester Medical Center, the Delaware County College Access Center, and the Chester Upland School District partner with Swarthmore College on this initiative.
Charmaine Giles '10, a Swarthmore student leader with the program, said that she is "extremely excited that we are able to have more time with the Blueprint Peer Leaders. I have watched them grow into young, conscious adults that care about their future and the Chester community. As a current student, it has been an amazing learning experience to have the opportunity to apply the pedagogy I learned in the Swarthmore classroom to students from Chester. The mentors and I were given the ability to transfer the cultural and academic capital to students who needed it most. The social, economic, and educational dynamics of Chester at time can be disheartening, but having the ability to work on this grant is helping change that."
A previous grant from the Office of Minority Health enabled Swarthmore College and its partners to work with these students from 7th through 9th grade. The new grant will enable Project Blueprints to continue nurturing and educating the same group of students from their sophomore year through high school graduation.