Building Bridges: Monadnock United Way Awarded Grant for Internship System and Workforce Opportunities

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Contact: Katie Gardella, Director of Resource Development and Community Engagement | (603) 352-4209 ext. 27

Keene, NH - Monadnock United Way (MUW) has been awarded a three-year grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission to conceptualize and develop the Monadnock Region Afterschool Partnership Project. This innovative workforce development initiative aims to create career pathways for young people while addressing staffing shortages in area after-school programs.

The system will connect higher education institutions, such as Keene State College and River Valley Community College, who have agreed to partner with MUW, with the Monadnock Regional Afterschool Collective (MRAC), a collaborative funded by MUW that provides high-quality after-school programming for over 1,000 school-aged children across 13 sites in the Monadnock Region. The grant will also create workforce development opportunities by linking local businesses to sponsor and provide after-school programs. This will allow young people to get engaged and excited about various employment paths as they prepare to enter the workforce.

"These sites provide incredible learning experiences for college students who will be shortly entering professions, many working with, or on behalf of children," said Stephanie Latini, MUW's new Internship and Business Outreach Manager who is spearheading the project. "In turn, these interns will supply much-needed staffing support for the after-school programs."

Before joining MUW, Latini worked at The River Center in Peterborough, where she equipped students with life skills, coordinated with local school districts, created and managed programs, and conducted community outreach. "We are so pleased to have Stephanie on board," said Katie Gardella, Director of Resource Development and Community Engagement of MUW. "Her past experience in facilitating outreach programs for students, as well as in higher education, makes her the perfect fit for this job. We are excited to get this project going with her at the helm!"

Latini, a published writer, competitive weightlifter, and volunteer leader, expressed, "I am thrilled to bring my enthusiasm and vision to Monadnock United Way on this project that aims to bring higher education, businesses, and after-school programs together. Our goal is to create a sustainable system benefiting the organizations and youth they serve while also enriching the economy of the Monadnock Region through workforce development."

About Monadnock United Way

Monadnock United Way is dedicated to improving lives by mobilizing diverse partners and investing in programs and people to create long-lasting, measurable change. MUW was founded in 1952 and currently has more than 2,500 donors, advocates, and volunteers. At Monadnock United Way, we help create opportunities for children, education, and financial stability in every community throughout our region.