SPC, City of St. Pete collaboration extended to 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — The City of St. Petersburg has awarded St. Petersburg College (SPC) a $329,325 grant to provide focused educational and entrepreneurial training opportunities to African-American male youth.

As part of the city’s Cohort of Champions initiative, the three-year grant will continue to support SPC’s PITCH program, which provides tuition assistance and mentoring for African-American male youth to help them obtain workforce certificates and or enroll in post-secondary programs. 

These efforts enable them to move towards economic mobility through higher wage jobs or continuing their education. Since 2017, more than 100 students have successfully completed the program.

Now entering its fourth year, the program aligns with SPC’s goal to increase success rates for minority males. SPC recently established a Student Success Taskforce focused on African-American males, which aims to close achievement gaps and accelerate overall academic achievement for this population.

 “SPC is truly honored to continue this partnership with the City of St. Petersburg. The PITCH program is a collective effort to serve as a model program and it is just one more resource we have to ensure success for our African-American male students,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams, SPC President.

The college/city partnership is just one of a growing number of initiatives and programs centered on SPC’s Community of Care, a strategic institution-wide focus on building stronger partnerships to better serve students and strengthen the diverse communities they call home.

 The program also provides participants with opportunities for skill building, leadership-focused workshops and events, mentoring, tutoring, academic advising, and wrap around services. Participants must be 18-24 years old, African American, and be City of St. Petersburg residents. 

The program offers participants support in short-term training programs such as Fire Academy, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Help Desk Specialist  – IT,  Cybersecurity – IT, Computer Programming – IT, Audio Technology, Digital arts and media, Laptop and mobile device repair, and Clinical medical assistant.  

For more information on eligibility and enrollment, email Ernest Gant, Acting PITCH Coordinator, at gant.ernest@spcollege.edu

More information on the city’s initiative can be found here at www.stpete.org/MBSK.

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