Boys and Girls Club introduce STEM Program


The Boys and Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania will soon introduce a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program for their GALLS (Giving All Little Ladies Smiles) group. The STEM program will consist of multiple, hands-on experiments constructed for multiple age groups. The program will be orchestrated and instructed by 12-year-old Stephanie Yatko of Our Lady of Peace School.

“I want to make sure the girls aren’t put down in society. They need more women in the science field. They can enjoy it too – it’s really fun!” states Stephanie. Stephanie has participated in the STEM program at West Point Military Academy and is eager to bring her knowledge to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region.

The project was created after Nicole Sullivan, Toyota of Scranton, had the opportunity to meet Stephanie and challenged her to extend her knowledge of STEM to the local community. Ms. Yatko coordinated with the Boys & Girls Club directors as well as Toyota of Scranton and the Scranton Area Foundation to get her project off the ground. The project will be solely funded through scholarships awarded by Toyota of Scranton and the Scranton Area Foundation.

Toyota of Scranton President, Greg Gagorik states, “The STEM program is a fun, interactive way for children to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. As with the arts, we believe it is important to keep our community engaged in these programs and to expand the knowledge base of our children. We are proud and excited to support Ms. Yatko in her endeavor and we can’t wait to see where the project goes.”

“We at the Boys & Girls Club are thrilled to collaborate with Stephanie and with the support from Toyota of Scranton and the Scranton Area Foundation. Our GALLS members will have a great opportunity to expand their learning in the area of STEM,” states Tricia Thomas, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club.

“Women in Philanthropy (WIP), an initiative by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, is designed to confront the many issues facing women and children through a process of engaged, collective, and active philanthropy where members are a part of the funding process within several priority areas; areas that are poised to make systemic change for women and children. One of the priority areas for WIP is bringing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) educational opportunities to Lackawanna County youth, especially girls who are often under-represented in STEAM fields. We are thrilled to team up with Stephanie Yatko, the Boys and Girls Club of NEPA, and Toyota of Scranton to bring hands-on STEAM educational opportunities to the Boys and Girls Club’s GALL program. WIP is proud to support Stephanie who is a bright, young woman volunteering her time to inspire and build the self-confidence of other girls in her community,” states Laura Ducceschi, CEO and President of the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Toyota of Scranton and Scranton Area Foundation are providing scholarship to Boys & Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania to conduct STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) experiments for the GALLS (Giving All Little Girls Smiles) program.

Shown from left are: Laura Gentile, Tricia Thomas, of the Boys & Girls Club; Nicole Sullivan of Toyota of Scranton; Stephanie Yatko, Maggie Nasser of Scranton Area Community Foundation; Richard Kasavage of the Boys & Girls Club, and Yahaira Gonzalez Ramos of the G.A.L.L.S. (Giving All Little Ladies Smiles) Program.


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