YouthQuest and Community Education funded for 2021-2022 school year

Two students raise their hands to participate in a National Geographic livecast.
YouthQuest participants take part in a 2019 National Geographic livecast. Photo: Rick Smith

The following is a statement from Ridgway White, Mott Foundation president and CEO.

The mission of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is to support efforts that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. Nowhere is this more important than in our hometown. And no one is more important to us than the young people who attend Flint Community Schools.

We’ve supported programs for Flint youth for nearly a century, and we realize how crucial the YouthQuest afterschool program and the Community Education Initiative — administered, respectively, by the Genesee Area Focus Fund and Crim Fitness Foundation — are to Flint families. It was heartening to see the outpouring of support for these programs at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.

While I always strive to do my best, I am human. I regret pausing the grants that support these programs.

To the children and families who rely on these programs, the staff and volunteers who support Flint kids, and the community, I apologize for creating this instability. We’ve all been through a lot in the past decade, and I will do my best to keep the Mott Foundation’s support positive and beneficial for Flint kids and families so every child in Flint has the opportunity to succeed.

The Mott Foundation will grant a total of $7 million to GAFF and Crim to ensure that YouthQuest and the Community Education Initiative can continue serving Flint kids and families through the 2021-22 school year.

We also remain committed to working with Flint Community Schools and the Board of Education, and we would welcome the chance to resume a dialogue around creating a future that is bright for all Flint kids.