BRIDGEPORT (September 21, 2021) – Representatives from LifeBridge Community Services recently visited The STEAMulating Young Minds Imagination Academy (SYMI Academy) in Bridgeport, CT, to see the program in action. LifeBridge is providing financial support to assist parents with young children, in covering the cost of attending pre-school at SYMI through LifeBridge’s Ganim Ultimate Gift Fund.
President & CEO of the SYMI Academy, Shawn D. Byrd, and President & CEO of LifeBridge, Alan Mathis, believe this is an ideal partnership targeted at addressing the significant educational disparities among youth in Bridgeport at critically early ages.
“In our discussions, Shawn and I realized that we are working toward similar goals,” said Mathis. “We are striving to help Bridgeport youth build resilience, to excel in school, and to dream bigger dreams. At LifeBridge, our programming is focused on youth ages 11 to 14. By providing financial assistance to families, with young children, this partnership will better prepare our pipeline and drive favorable outcomes. Understanding the importance of early childhood education and the role it plays in leveling the playing field, this partnership makes perfect sense. It will help make our job easier later on by giving young children the right start in their learning process.”
SYMI Academy offers a pre-school program, before and after school programming, and a summer camp for youth in grades K-12. LifeBridge helps youth through its Urban Scholars Program that provides enrichment programs along with academic support and social emotional learning activitiesfor youth beginning in 8th grade. Both agencies offer programming with a STEAM focus. Through an application process, LifeBridge is helping to cover costs for pre-school not already covered by Care-4-Kids subsidies. LifeBridge manages the Ganim Ultimate Gift Fund which provides support when the use of funds will result in a “transformative opportunity.”
“SYMI Academy is happy to solidify this strategic partnership with LifeBridge. Providing financial resources to better serve our Bridgeport community is a win-win for our scholars and families,” said Byrd. “Early childhood educational success is proven to change life trajectories and that is what SYMI is committed to do.”