DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Boys and Girls Club of Dayton raised over $150,000 for STEM education programs at its fundraiser on Thursday, October 14.

According to a release by the club, the first annual SPARK Great Futures event surpassed the fundraising goal and raised over $150,000 to give west Dayton kids access to high-quality education in science, technology, engineering and math.

“The pandemic had an outsized impact on the children and families we serve, and the STEM education gap has only widened, so this is a critical time to reinvest in quality education programming so that all children can build a bright future regardless of their socioeconomic background,” said SPARK event co-chair Devon Valencia, Chief Information Officer at CareSource.

The Boys and Girls Club of Dayton said it hopes this support will help prepare youths for an economy that is only calling for more STEM careers.

“Our team of youth development professionals are uniquely positioned to prepare our community’s youth to be effective, engaged and adaptive learners and are ready to SPARK more great futures,” said Tara Marlow, club CEO.