AEP Foundation grants $50,000 to help launch Texarkana after-school program

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:31 PM CDT

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) — The AEP Foundation has awarded grant money to help launch Washington Leadership Academy, an after-school program sponsored by the nonprofit We Are Washington.

The inaugural leadership academy program will serve 20 students.

I Am a Hero Inc. will oversee how the money is spent.

On Monday, Sept. 25, a special check presentation ceremony was held in Texarkana. A $50,000 grant was presented at the request of SWEPCO. The celebration was held at the Washington Community Development Center in Texarkana at the site of the historic former Booker T. Washington High School.

“We are trying to help these kids out and give them a safe haven,” said Mondo Barry, of We Are Washington.

The organization provides several programs for youths in the Texarkana area.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to jump in on the ground floor of a leadership program that is going to help develop these youths not only for themselves but also our community,” SWEPCO spokeswoman Jennifer Harland said.

We Are Washington’s programs are funded from grants and community donations.

“These kids really need what SWEPCO is doing, and the city of Texarkana needs what SWEPCO is doing. And we are just excited,” Barry said.

The grant is part of AEP Foundation’s “Delivering on A Dream” program.