New Partnership In The East To Help At Risk Kids

An organization that is known to teach young boys survival skills will now branch out to help low-income minority children thanks to a $150,000 thousand donation.

A new partnership between the Boys Scouts of America and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program called STEM, is launching a multicultural program in eastern North Carolina designed to serve 320 at risk youth in its first year and up to 500 by year two.

The newly formed partnership is launching the new STEM program to serve youth in Pitt, Beaufort, Pamlico, Craven and Wilson Counties. In two years the STEM program will be expanded to additional counties served by East Carolina Council, BSA as new funding is committed. The goal is to organize additional chapters in the ten communities with the highest number of at risk youth.

Ray Franks with the East Carolina Council of the Boys Scouts says they serve 9,000 youth. Two-thousand from low income, multicultural families.

But Dr. Paul Cunningham, who serves on the executive board for the scouts, says there are more minorities being left out. This new partnership will bring those kids into the fold.

Gwangi Shipp will head up that effort. He says, "What really fuels me is you go into these low income areas their lights are so dim and you look at a parent who has five kids and no father and be able to take this kid and transform him through the scouting program, that right there fuels me, that gives me the energy to do what we do."

Those organizations partnering with East Carolina Council, BSA include PotashCorp Aurora, ($50,000 check) United Way of Pitt County, Boy Scouts of America, Southern Region, Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, United Way of Wilson County and "the little bank".