Mantua youth program receives $90,000 donation

MANTUA - June 9, 2013

The youth development program known as Mantua in Action brings in sports and other opportunities for Mantua middle school students to help them graduate high school.

This week representatives from Drexel University and the City's Parks and Recreation Department gathered to celebrate a $90,000 donation to program from their new corporate sponsor Aberdeen Charitable Foundation.

Officials say the funding, which will be provided over three years, is crucial to its involvement.

"You really got to be committed for a longer time period and get to know the program and how it works," said Gary Marshall, CEO of Aberdeen Charitable Foundation.

"This is a really durable partnership. Having Aberdeen help us advance this in the short and medium term, with this really generous grant, is just phenomenal," said John Fry, President of Drexel University.

The afterschool and summer programs that the funding will support include squash, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, fencing and wresting.

Community leaders are proud to give back.

"I can educate the youth and help them feel better about themselves as well as the parents when they come in, engaging them as well," said Brandon Pemberton, Jr. Coach.

"I grew up in this community. My grandfather went to Penn in 1937, he was all about entrepreneurship. We owned an Exxon station before it was called Exxon. It's never about where you stand, its only about the direction in which you look, I firmly believe that," said Rick Young, Mantua Community Improvement.

"We have such wonderful people who care and it's turning this community around," said City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Fry adds that it has taken a vision, the right resources and a lot of courage to make it happen.

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