Miami, Fl - BMe Community Genius Justin Pinn, who is STEM Academy Director at Breakthrough Miami, has been selected to serve as a 2017-2018 Afterschool Ambassador. He is one of just 15 leaders from across the nation chosen for the honor this year. Each Afterschool Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving a one-year Afterschool Ambassador term, organizing public events, communicating with policy makers and in other ways increasing support for afterschool and summer learning programs.
“We’re delighted that Mr. Pinn will serve as an Afterschool Ambassador this year,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “He is exactly the kind of powerful champion we need at this time when federal funding for quality afterschool and summer learning programs is at risk. I know he will mobilize business, community and faith leaders, parents, educators and others to convince lawmakers to secure resources for the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.”
These programs offer hands-on learning opportunities, homework help, mentors, science and technology, healthy snacks and meals, sports and fitness, arts programming, college and job prep.
“We’re facing very real challenges this year, and more than a million students across the country could lose their afterschool programs,” said Grant.
Today, for every child in an afterschool program, there are two more whose parents say they would participate, if a program were available. Unmet demand is especially high in rural communities and communities of concentrated poverty. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised after the school day ends.
“I am thrilled to join in the Afterschool Alliance’s work to build support for afterschool programs,” said Pinn. “During my time working in the field, I’ve seen up close the many ways afterschool programs help students to explore their interests and discover their passions, while giving parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are safe and supervised, with opportunities to learn and grow, after the school day ends. I look forward to raising awareness and support for the out-of-school-time opportunities all students need.”
As a director with Breakthrough Miami, Pinn works to expose young people to many avenues of success. Breakthrough Miami is an eight-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program that provides motivated 1200 middle and high school students with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals in life. The students-teaching-students internship engages outstanding older students as teachers, mentors and role models, so that the scholars enter and thrive in college-prep high schools and enroll in college.
“We are excited about Justin’s appointment because it is well deserved,” said Benjamin Evans III, Co-Founder of BMe Community. “He works everyday to build a more caring and prosperous Miami so to see his work being elevated nationally speaks volumes.”
Each Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s annual rally for afterschool, to be held on October 26 this year. Last year, 1 million people participated in some 7,500 Lights On Afterschool events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.