STEM programs get a boost from grant money
South Bend's STEM programs for kids are getting a major assist to serve more children in the area.
Urban Research Park has given South Bend STEM organization enFocus $212,000 dollars in funding. It's expected to improve youth access to technology career education through programs like South Bend Code School. The focus will be on serving 700 at-risk kids and placing at least 50 of them in jobs or internships by the year 2023. enFocus says that gets to the heart of their mission.
"We've really seen a need in the community over time for information technology skill sets," said Andrew Wiand, executive director of enFocus. "At the same time how do we attack the disparity for our youth. So really putting those together."
This grant money will also spark additional programming in partnership with Wabash College, South Bend's Startup Weekends, and the Bowman Creek Educational Eco-system project.
Tech leaders say community support has been key.
"It's been fantastic," said Alex Sejdinaj, co-founder of South Bend Code School. "And I think our team thinks this is really a community effort and there are a lot of people coming together to make this happen."
With the Renaissance district expanding, the hope is that more kids learn tech, come back to the city, and help make South Bend a STEM career hub.