GM Foundation Grants Support Education

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – The General Motors Foundation has awarded $110,000 to support education, community service and economic development programs in the Mahoning Valley.

The Youngstown State University Foundation, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Foundation and Inspiring Minds were each awarded $20,000 while United Way of Trumbull County and United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley were given $25,000 apiece.

The grants were announced today at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly’s seventh annual Community Appreciation Day.

“It’s in line with what we’re doing here and in the community,” said Mark Pervine, assistant plant manager. “It’ll strengthen our students and the people in the community when it comes to STEM and make them more capable in the workforce.”

With a matching grant from the state of Ohio, YSU Foundation President Paul McFadden said his organization’s grant will support the Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Center. The collaboration involving YSU, technical schools and community colleges, and other community partners will allow the center to create a space for students of all disciplines. And it will encourage students to develop marketable ideas.

“I think [GM founders] Mr. Durant and Mr. Mott, who built horse carriages and decided to put motors on them, were innovators,” McFadden said. “And I think they’d like this grant because it’s encouraging innovation and it’s going to help our Valley.”

Inspiring Minds founder Deryck Toles said the money awarded his organization would be spent on 3-D printers and drones for students to use, exposing them to the STEM and aviation fields.

“There are a lot of kids in our city that don’t have the chance to be exposed to things like drones or 3-D printers,” Toles said. “A grant like this allows them access to the same things kids in other communities have access to.”

United Way of Youngstown President Bob Hannon said funds will go toward developing the Raspberry Pi program that teaches kids how to build and program their own computers. Money will also support United Way’s Imagination Library.

In Trumbull County, the community grant will support all United Way programs, said resource development director Christine Cope Among the them are Reading Great By 8 and the Trumbull County Partnership for Financial Empowerment.

With the combined efforts of each organization, the grants have the potential for a wide-ranging impact.

“Everybody plays a role. I’m just doing my part,” Toles said. “If everybody does a little bit, that’s the way we continue to grow and get better.”

Pictured: Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Foundation President John Rossi, GM Lordstown assistant plant manager Mark Pervine, United Way of Youngstown President Bob Hannon, United Way of Trumbull County resource development director Christine Cope, Inspiring Minds founder Deryck Toles, GM Lordstown human resources director and YSU Foundation President Paul McFadden at the GM Foundation community grant awards.

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