Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

EastSide Charter School receives $1 million donation

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Barclays Bank US is sending $1 million to Wilmington’s EastSide Charter School as the two institutions mark 20 years working on EastSide’s mentoring program together.

And part of that new funding will go toward expanding the program they launched in 2002.

Naseem Matthews is among the 850 students to participate in EastSide’s mentoring program as mentees in the past 20 years- and he calls the experience life changing.

“Being able to have Charlie McDowell who is the CEO of EastSide Charter Foundation serve as my mentor… he’s helped me really develop into the person I am today by providing me with that wisdom, guidance, and knowledge on narrowing down what my career path would be and how to be the best version of myself,” he said.

Matthews is currently in college and working in Delaware. This school year, he will be a mentor - something Sen. Chris Coons applauds.

“It was a great example of how that virtuous circle of giving and giving back, and benefiting from, and then giving back is possible here in Wilmington, Delaware,” said Coons.

In addition to helping the mentoring program serve more students, Barclays’ $1 million donation will also be used to expand the school, and construct a new STEM Hub.

The EastSide’s Community Discovery STEM Hub will not only serve EastSide students, but the surrounding community, as well. In partnership with the Wilmington Public Library, the Hub will be open to the public after school hours on weekdays, and during the summer.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester launched the Congressional Future of Work Caucus in 2020.

“And one of the things that we see is that we need to make sure that our young people- and not just our young people, all of us- are not just prepared for the jobs we’re facing today, but the jobs we’re facing in the future,” Blunt Rochester explained.

She says the construction of EastSide’s STEM Hub is a great way to help the community enter the workforce as technology continues to develop at a rapid rate.

The STEM Hub is scheduled to open in 2024.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.