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New Center of Innovation Opens STEM Experiences to Kids

San Diego recently welcomed a new STEM Education facility, called the Center of Innovation, at the Ron Roberts Family Boys & Girls Club at 2230 E. Jewett. U.S. Rep. Scott Peters delivered the opening remarks. The new Center of Innovation is a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Raytheon Co. and will provide young military dependents access to advanced technologies to stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration. The new center will be one of 22 worldwide funded by Raytheon, thanks to a $5 million commitment to B&GCA. To date, nine Center of Innovation locations in the U.S. and one abroad have been opened. This new center will ensure military children in the San Diego area can explore the possibilities available to them in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Raytheon’s $5 million, multiyear commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America is part of the company’s $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.

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Second Chance announced that they raised $84,000 at their second annual Orange is the New Black benefit held recently at Qualcomm Hall. The nonprofit was also the first-ever recipient of an award from the County of San Diego for its work with youth at the East Mesa and Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facilities. Second Chance was honored with an award for “Treatment Leader in Evidenced Based Practice.”

Robert Coleman, president/CEO of Second Chance, said the award was public recognition and acknowledgement for the “the hard work and commitment of the Youthful Offender Rehabilitation Program team, led by Gina Dauzat.”

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Hands United for Children’s 6th Annual Fundraising Gala held recently at Viejas Casino and Resort raised $30,000 for environmental education programs for San Diego’s children.

The funds raised support HUFC partnering with local nonprofits and inner city, low-income schools throughout San Diego County to provide free curriculum-supported environmental education field trips to children who otherwise do not have access to nature and farm experiences. Field trips include animal art projects and hands-on access to over 100 domestic, livestock and equine rescue and adopted animals on the 20-acre Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine. This year’s gala raised enough to fund free field trips and transportation for 700 of San Diego’s deserving children. Agnes Barrelet, Children’s Nature Retreat president and Hands United for Children’s executive director, said the focus of the nonprofit is to provide every child in need throughout San Diego County the opportunity to experience the therapeutic impacts of nature. This includes partnering with other local nonprofits, including those that serve children with pediatric cancer and children in distressed situations. Visit handsunited4children.org.

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Survivors of Torture International, the only accredited torture treatment center in San Diego County, received the Distinguished Organization Award from the San Diego County Bar Association last week during SDCBA’s Annual Awards Luncheon and Celebration of Community Service.

Survivors, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has served more than 2,000 torture survivors and their families from 80 countries with holistic and comprehensive support, including legal, psychiatric, psychological, medical and dental services.

“The backbone of the program is mental health support and providing a safe haven for healing,” said Kathi Anderson, executive director and one of three founders, noting that there are an estimated 35,000 torture survivors in San Diego County.

Send Kudos/Giving items to sglidden@sdbj.com.

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