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  • CHEER Staff

New Clubs for LBCAY Youth Presented by P4L and Identity at September 12th Stakeholder’s Meeting

By: Seble Seyoum

With support from LBCAY and the Montgomery County Recreation Department (MCRD), P4L and Identity are providing two new After School Exploration Club classes for 7th-12th graders at the Long Branch Community Center based on expressed interest from Long Branch youth.

At the September 12th quarterly stakeholder meeting, Matthew Ratz, Executive Director of Passion 4 Learning (P4L) outlined his plans for the financial literacy program to be offered at the Long Branch Community Center beginning on September 26th for middle and high school youth.

This is an area of interest identified by Long Branch youth. In this club, participants examine mindsets around money to be aligned with participants’ values. The topics include looking at wealth beyond spending to also examine what that money will allow a person to do. Additionally, youth will explore ways to manage money.

LBCAY youth and adult stakeholders participated in an interactive discussion starting with questions about what comes to mind when thinking about money, business and finance. Matt outlined the financial literacy program including an understanding of what money is, what it is for, and how to use it to advance things that are important to program participants as individuals.

During the discussion, Jacob Ahnen, Identity Program Manager also asked youth and stakeholders to share their ideas about characteristics of leaders, their questions about leadership, future plans after high school and what are the steps they need to take to go to college.

Fourteen 7th - 12th graders, including two high school volunteers are currently enrolled in P4L's financial literacy sessions of the After School Exploration Club. For the opening session, youth began with an icebreaker to identify commonalities among participants and enjoyed fruit and taquitos catered by a Long Branch parent. Topics focused on one’s relationship with money and understanding how money moves.

This was followed by additional sessions which incorporated activities related to creating a budget, compound interest, investing, and giving your money a job. During each session, youth are asked to reflect on previous sessions to help improve existing and future lessons and to increase engagement in discussion and activities.

The program will culminate in a final presentation by youth for families on November 2nd, from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm at Long Branch Community Center.

Beginning Thursdays, November 9th through December 21st from 3:30-5:30 pm, Identity will be focusing on college and career readiness. Youth will explore how to get ready for college regardless of their current stage or grade level and pathways available to achieve their goals. Participants will also delve into topics on general leadership themes.

For additional information, please visit the CHEER website. Long Branch families with middle-high school aged youth can register for the program at the following link: For more information on how to join or contribute to this initiative, please contact Seble Seyoum, LBCAY Program Manager at:

All program participants will receive a Montgomery County Recreation Center ID, allowing them full access to the Long Branch Facility and programs outside of Exploration Club times. These additional activities include basketball, lacrosse, games, and other sponsored social activities.


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