Gadsden Math Students

United Way of Yuma County awards $10K to AWC Foundation

July 17, 2019

Funds to strengthen Arizona Western College’s middle and high school partnership programs

Yuma, AZ (July 16, 2019) – The Arizona Western College Foundation was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from United Way of Yuma County as part of the Math Matters Project.

The grant dollars will be utilized by the AWC Foundation to fund tuition scholarships for the Gadsden Math Project as well as participation fees, meals, and instructor stipends for AWC Math Works Summer Boot Camps. These efforts will provide early, foundational math interventions to help students become more prepared for college-level coursework.

“AWC Foundation's mission is to make education accessible by removing economic barriers, and United Way grant funding will provide expanded opportunities for students in our community in the context of skill building and workforce development,” said AWC Director of Institutional Advancement Renee Smith.

United Way of Yuma President and CEO Karina Jones added that their organization aims to provide individuals with the tools needed to break the cycle of poverty.

“By providing financial assistance to local students, we believe that the Math Matters Project is truly helping move the needle forward when it comes to breaking the cycle of poverty. We're looking forward to this year and cannot wait to hear about the results of the program,” said Jones.

The Gadsden Math Project provides middle school students from Gadsden Elementary School District #32 with the opportunity to enroll in college-level math courses taught by professors. The nationally recognized initiative serves 50 to 100 middle school students each year and has aided over 1,300 students and their families since it began in 2007. The after-school program is anticipated to have 10 to 15% increased participation in 2020, which has been the trend over the last three years from 2015 to 2018. In the future, the hope is to expand the project to Somerton students.

In addition to United Way, the Gadsden Math Project has also been funded by the Sturges Charitable Trust through the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma and the Pete C. Garcia Victoria Foundation as well as individual donors. Since its inception, almost $100,000 has been awarded in program scholarships.

This is the second year that Yuma County high school students have had the opportunity to participate in an AWC Math Works Summer Boot Camp, which serves as refresher course for those that test into developmental math. This year AWC was able to offer two camps, serving 28 students. Over half of the students that have participated in the camps so far have improved their placement scores and tested into college-level math courses.

*Students pose for a photo during a past Gadsden Math Project class. Through this initiative, middle school students at Gadsden Elementary School District #32 have an opportunity to take college-level Algebra and Precalculus courses taught by professors. The after-school program is made possible through donations, including a recent $10K grant from United Way of Yuma County.