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Community Education Building gets federal funding for Youth Development Center and programs

Delaware Public Media

The Community Education Building in Wilmington is getting a boost from new federal funding.

$3 million is headed there for a new Youth Development Center to help serve underprivileged youth, especially through afterschool programs.

The center is expected to help build on work at the C-E-B to help serve underprivileged youth - especially with afterschool programs.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester says the goal of funding these efforts is to help children and provide them a sense of community.

“The ability to keep kids safe,” said Blunt Rochester. “Make sure they're fed, make sure that their family members have access to job opportunities and just realize that a child is not isolated in and of itself, but it's connected to a whole community.”

The Community Education Building has been around since 2014, assisting students through a Student Advocacy System along connecting them to student meals and other resources.

These programs are intended to not only enhance children's educations but also their prospects and outcomes for the future

Community Education Building Chief Operations Officer Tamarra Morris says the center will be a hub for their Student Advocacy System that works to identify and meet a student’s individual needs.

“So if you have a student who is acting out or you have a student who you know has had a drop in grades or you can tell the body language is changing, we have the ability to connect with these students,” said Morris. “Find out firsthand what is causing what's the root cause of what they're going through. ”

These new federal dollars will help expand those programs - along with helping fund the new Youth Development Center.

Morris elaborated on how the funding would not only impact the CEB but also its connection to other non profit organizations.

“The reason that it actually connects to the other projects is that fundraising for nonprofits, you know, most people will attest to its ongoing,” said Morris “So allowing us to utilize this grant to support some of the necessary projects here will allow us to separate the fundraising needs for the expansions of the community education.”

Anthony Capparelli Jr. the Lead student advocate at CEB expressed how the program impacts those on an individual level with new tools to further their education.

We worked hard to expose them to new things,” said Capparelli Jr. “But there's new facilities and more growth, we're able to bring in more partners to show them new experiences that they may not have known before.”

Work on the new Youth Development Center is slated to start sometime this Oct. or Nov. - and expected to open in Fall 2025.

Ethan Grandin is a double major in Communications and International Relations at the University of Delaware, he is also the Politics Coordinator and a Staff Photographer at The Review. Ethan has a passion for covering politics In the future he hopes to continue to pursue journalism as a career and tell people's stories no matter how big or small.