United Way of Southern Maine’s (UWSM) Brick & Beam Society announced investments totaling $100,000 in three afterschool and positive youth development organizations. Their investments will help build systemic equity in early childhood learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) programs.
The investments include:
- $45,000 Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine’s (BGCSM) Brick Hill Youth Program, a place-based afterschool program in South Portland.
- $15,000 Gateway Community Services, Maine (GCSM) drop-in educational sessions for English Language Learners and children experiencing homelessness, specifically children staying at hotels in South Portland.
- $40,000 Portland Community Squash (PCS) for Rally Portland, an afterschool program for students in grades 6-12.
Brick & Beam members chose to make their first Signature Investment in Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine’s Brick Hill Youth Program. As a signature investment, the Brick Hill Youth Program will receive on-going, multi-year funding and volunteer support. Brick & Beam Society member volunteers will deploy talent in the form of mentorship to students and other skilled volunteerism to help the afterschool program thrive and grow.
“Our program provides young people with fun, engaging, and relevant opportunities to learn and grow,” said Brian Elowe, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. “We’re thrilled to partner with Brick & Beam Society to continue offering dynamic programming that brings together the best of both academic and social-emotional enrichment experiences.”
Out-of-school programs are uniquely positioned to develop impactful enrichment experiences that blend fun, learning, and social-emotional growth that are critical for all youth, particularly those who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, food insecurity. and homelessness.
“We need to take advantage of out-of-school time — especially given the challenges of the past few years,” said Matt Mathias, Impact Investment Committee Member and Vice President of Global Fund banking at Silicon Valley Bank. “It’s time not just to catch up, but also to guide our young people forward and provide more opportunities to learn and grow, explore their talents and imagination, and feel more confident and connected to peers, mentors, and their community.”
Partnerships with out-of-school time organizations are part of a larger effort by Brick & Beam Society to elevate its focus on literacy and STEAM to build systemic equity that result in positive academic, development, and social outcomes.
These collaborations build on earlier immediate impact funding partnerships with Educate Maine’s Project>Login Girls Who Code Summer Camp for the development and execution of two Girls Who Code summer camps in the greater Portland region and The Rufus Porter Museum of Art & Ingenuity’s Camp Invention for 25 low-income children, kindergarten through grade 6, to attend Camp Invention held at Stevens Brook Elementary School in Bridgton.
Brick & Beam Society investments are funded through member donations and decided on by member volunteers. Investments align with Thrive2027 and support early childhood education with a specific interest in STEAM programming for under-served kids in Southern Maine.
To learn more about United Way of Southern Maine, Brick & Beam Society, and Thrive2027, our community’s three goals for a thriving future, visit uwsme.org.
Brick & Beam Society Community Day at Brick Hill Afterschool Program
About United Way of Southern Maine
United Way of Southern Maine (UWSM)’s mission is to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. UWSM unites individuals and organizations around our community’s shared vision to improve education, financial stability, and health for every person in Southern Maine. With community partners, UWSM builds on strategies that are known to achieve the best results, and rigorously evaluates progress toward those goals. UWSM actively seeks to engage donors, advocates, and volunteers to create measurable, long-lasting community change. Learn more at uwsme.org.
About Brick & Beam Society
Brick & Beam Society (B&B) is a giving circle of United Way of Southern Maine designed to cultivate the next generation of philanthropic leaders in Southern Maine. Members represent companies from various industries who are building momentum for action. Since its launch in 2016, Brick & Beam Society has invested over $550,000 in early literacy and STEM/STEAM programs that are giving children the gift of a lifetime and the power to create their own destiny. Learn more at brickandbeam.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine
For more than 110 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine has provided youth development programs for children ages 6-18. Our five Clubhouses located in Auburn/Lewiston, Portland, and South Portland are safe places to learn, have fun, and develop skills and interests that last a lifetime. For more information visit bgcmaine.org.
About Gateway Community Services
Gateway Community Services, Maine (GCSM) partners with immigrant, refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeker communities in Portland and Lewiston through a wide range of programs designed to build and support healthy connections within oneself and others, promoting vibrancy and well-being. They strive to build welcoming communities where all people feel accepted, valued, and have a sense of belonging. For more information visit gcsmaine.org.
About Portland Community Squash
Portland Community Squash is a local organization focused on bringing courts and classrooms to Portland, Maine for the benefit of unmet demand, school programs, and an urban squash program. Portland Community Squash + much more, uniting neighbors and fully supporting youth from elementary school into adulthood. For more information visit pcsquash.com.