Branches Partners with Ocean Reef Community Foundation to Help At-Risk Youth Succeed

Pictured are Branches youth Karen Martinez, Branches Director of Student Services Kim Torres, and Ocean Reef Grants Committee Chair Janie Sims.

“The Ocean Reef Community Foundation is truly making an incredible difference in South Dade,” said Brent McLaughlin, Executive Director, Branches. “We are excited to bring impactful programming to our children and families to help them succeed long-term.”

Branches, Inc. has been partnering with the Ocean Reef Community Foundation for over 8 years, and has received more than $350,000 in grant funding. The majority of these dollars have also been matched by Trish and Dan Bell, more than doubling the investment that the Foundation has made.

Most recently, Branches, Inc. was awarded a grant by the Foundation of $25,000 to support both its Grow & Climb children and youth program at Branches Florida City. This grant is designated for the Grow & Climb Guide Program which will train, equip and employ several Branches youth from low-income families as Grow Guides and Summer Shade Camp Guides at the Florida City location. The Grow Guides work with elementary students after school during the school year, and the Summer Shade Guides serve as camp counselors and lead summer programming, along with staff. The Grow & Climb Guide Program makes a huge impact in the lives of these youth since it offers work-based learning opportunities that not only offer employment but also prepare participants for success in post-secondary education and careers.

Branches is a local non-profit organization based in Miami and primarily focuses on student services and financial stability. Its Grow Program serves elementary students, preparing them for lifelong success through enrichment of their minds, bodies…

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