Funds to support students through college, earn academic credentials and develop workplace skills necessary to succeed in high demand careers
The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) has received a $50,000 grant from the Meyer Foundation to support two programs designed to help build a diverse, highly skilled workforce, support the local business community, and enable deserving youth to realize their potential and achieve financial stability.
The Universities at Shady Grove Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) and Career Experience Opportunities (CEO) programs are designed to introduce students to career options, prepare them for the workforce and connect them to employment. To date, the program has enabled nearly 2,000 students to experience these opportunities.
“Through CEO and ACES, we are able to dramatically increase the number of nontraditional students staying in school, earning degrees, and being well prepared to join and succeed in the workforce,” said Stewart Edelstein, executive director of the Universities at Shady Grove. “Ultimately CEO and ACES diversify and expand the pool of candidates with 21st century workforce skills in our region.”
The ACES program provides educational pathways and support structures from high school to college completion for low-income, first generation, and other underrepresented students. Using a case management approach, ACES engages students, parents, teachers, and staff to achieve success. The CEO program is a five-year partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College that guides students from their senior year in high school through the completion of their bachelor’s degree. It combines classroom studies and work skills development with career experiences like job shadowing and internships.
Julian A. Haynes, Program Officer at the Meyer Foundation, praised the program for its approach involving businesses, public schools, the community college and the Universities at Shady Grove to help young people prepare for the workforce and obtain family-sustaining careers. “By using collective action to support an intentional pathway, it fills a critical need in our community to provide workforce skills to young people who lack professional networks or exposure to the careers that will provide a pathway to economic security.”
“These programs enable our students to graduate with experiences and skills so they can compete and be successful in the high demand fields in our region,” added Edelstein. “This grant from the Meyer Foundation will enable us to form more partnerships with local businesses and to mobilize the resources of public schools and community colleges to help create opportunity and a level playing field for our students.”
The Meyer Foundation grant joins approximately $1 million in pledges from Hess Construction, Health Care Initiative, MedImmune, Westat and other funders to support the ACES and CEO programs. The Meyer Foundation grant announced today will also help USG build partnerships with more businesses to expand the programs.
About the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Established in 1944, the Meyer Foundation is one of the Washington area’s oldest and largest locally-focused philanthropies. In December 2015, the Foundation adopted a new strategic plan and mission statement: to pursue and invest in solutions that build an equitable Greater Washington community in which economically vulnerable people thrive.