TD Charitable Foundation Supports G-STEM Program for Pottstown Area Youth

by Diane VanDyke

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $12,500, as part of the bank’s commitment to giving back to the community, to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program.

MCCC launched the G-STEM program in 2011 as the result of a $10,000 grant received from the TD Charitable Foundation. Since its inception, approximately 60 Pottstown area youth have attended the science program taught at the MCCC’s West Campus in Pottstown. Because of the ongoing support of the TD Charitable Foundation, MCCC can offer this program again for the fourth consecutive year.

“Thanks to TD Bank, students who never had such an opportunity before now have a chance to participate in the program. As a result, they acquire dreams, which they realize they now can fulfill,” said Biology Associate Professor Dr. David Gonzales, who serves as the G-STEM program director.

During the five-day program, 20 students are introduced to the basic concepts of scientific methodology and data analysis through hands-on activities and experiments, which include field trips to the nearby Manatawny Creek and Schuylkill River. Each activity focuses on an environmental issue relevant to the local community, and the students present their findings using PowerPoint at the conclusion of the program to the faculty, parents and guests.

Throughout the process, students work closely with MCCC faculty, including Biology Associate Professor Dr. David Gonzales, Geology Professor Robert Kuhlman, Microbiology Instructor Dr. James Bretz, Assistant Chemistry Professor Dr. Janet Graden, Biology Instructor David Whalen, and Assistant Mathematics Professor Stephanie Isaac. Additionally, several MCCC students have the opportunity to help as teaching assistants and expand their experience.

The program’s objective, through the engaging activities in a college setting, is to encourage youth to learn more about science and explore careers in this high-demand field.

Montgomery County Community College offers nationally recognized, competitive STEM transfer programs, in addition to career-track and certification programs. Students receive an affordable, high-caliber education that enables them to reach their goals, including seamless transfer into one of the College’s many partner institutions or entry into the workforce. For more information about the College’s STEM programs, visit mc3.edu.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

Pictured at the check presentation (from left) are:  MCCC Interim Dean of STEM Suzanne Holloman, TD Bank Vice President/Relationship Manager Christina Caracciolo, TD Bank Regional Vice President Geoffrey Brandon, MCCC Microbiology Instructor James Bretz, MCCC Biology Associate Professor/Program Director Dr. David Gonzales and TD Vice President/Store Manager David P. Rink. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Pictured at the check presentation (from left) are: MCCC Interim Dean of STEM Suzanne Holloman, TD Bank Vice President/Relationship Manager Christina Caracciolo, TD Bank Regional Vice President Geoffrey Brandon, MCCC Microbiology Instructor James Bretz, MCCC Biology Associate Professor/Program Director Dr. David Gonzales and TD Vice President/Store Manager David P. Rink. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

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