Skillcity had received funding for their STEMCEL project but needed a location, additional partners, and additional financial resources to make the plan a reality.
Early on, Communities United worked hard to generate support for its efforts in Northeast Edmonton - with varying degrees of success.
In time, CU learned that it is vastly more effective, not to mention easier and more rewarding, to find out what the goals and aspirations are of others and to do whatever you can to support their success. This is exactly what happened with Skillcity Institute’s STEMCEL project (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics - Career Exploration Lab).
CU staff had collaborated with Funke Smith, the Founder and CEO of Skillcity Institute, on a few different projects, and the more they worked together the more they realized how aligned they were in terms of values, goals, and approaches.
Skillcity had received funding for their STEMCEL project, but needed a location, additional partners, and additional financial resources to make the plan a reality.
CU was able to leverage its network and resources to broker a partnership between Skillcity and C5 (a collaboration of five social service agencies in northeast Edmonton), access a location for the lab in the local rec centre, and provide financial resources for items that were not covered by the funding that had already been received, items like digital subscriptions (difficult to fund but essential for equipping youth with the skills and programming needed to explore STEM fields).
As CU was winding down the STEMCEL was just getting started, carrying on the spirit of innovation and collaboration that helped, in a small way, to support its emergence. STEMCEL is now a fully equipped centre for learning and exploration, in a location where youth are naturally spending their time and gathering. Connections to more community, educational, and industry partners continue to be made - generating more opportunities for youth to develop the skills and strategies needed to thrive in the modern economy.
“Communities United is helping me to achieve a dream I’ve had for so many years, to actually create…pathways for young people to go into STEM.”
-Funke Smith - Founder & CEO, Skillcity Institute