PLEASANT LAKE – The Cape Cod Tech Foundation has been awarded an $80,000 grant from The Cape Cod Foundation to support capacity building initiatives, educational and mentoring programs, scholarships, and other needs of Cape Cod Regional Technical High School students.
The Cape Cod Tech Foundation was established in 2019 to support the students, teachers and programs at the Pleasant Lake technical high school. The foundation was created to assist students with financial challenges they encounter while pursuing their education. More than 50 percent of the 653 students who attend the school come from economically disadvantaged households, have special needs, or face language barriers, said Robert Eckel, executive director of the Cape Cod Tech Foundation.
“This is a significant grant going into the new school year. This is an important transition for the Cape Cod Tech Foundation,” Eckel said. “There is a great spirit of collaboration among the non-profits on the Cape. There is a great fraternity of them and the Cape Cod Foundation leads the way. How lucky the non-profits are to have such a terrific philanthropic group like the Cape Cod Foundation. A lot of the non-profits wouldn’t survive without them.”
“This partnership with the Cape Cod Tech Foundation aligns very closely with our strategy,” Kristin O’Malley, president and CEO of the Cape Cod Foundation, said in a press release. “It advances our ongoing work in youth development, education, and workforce development. It focuses on fulfilling unmet needs by providing flexible resources for necessities beyond what is covered by the school operating budget. It also helps create, expand, and increase access to programs while strengthening the school through ongoing capacity building initiatives.”
The Tech foundation raises funds for toolships, scholarships, educational assistance, mentoring and school and facility-based improvements. Eckel said many of the students become apprentice plumbers, electricians, carpenters, auto mechanics or HVAC technicians, and the foundation makes sure they start their careers off right with the necessary tools. Some of the technical programs require a certification or license and the foundation will contribute as necessary to help fulfill requirements for the students.
Students entering the workforce need a driver’s license, which can be expensive. According to Eckel, it can cost $1,300 for a driver education program and obtaining the license through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The foundation will assist when necessary.
“Over 60 percent of our graduates live and work on Cape Cod as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, healthcare specialists, culinary workers, automotive and marine technicians, information technology workers, engineers and graphic artists,” he said. “They are among the most significant members of the regional workforce and are essential for making Cape Cod such a special place to live and visit.”
“This grant will support Alumni Mentoring Programs, scholarships for continuing education, mini teacher grants, and an Angel Fund to address the emergency needs of students,” O’Malley said. “It will also support many of the hidden expenses that create barriers for students.”
Each year between six and eight Tech graduates enter the military, and the foundation provides them with a small contribution in recognition for their commitment to the military service.
Two local organizations that have donor-advised funds with The Cape Cod Foundation also made additional contributions, O’Malley said: The Lawrence-Lynch Corp. Foundation for Charitable Giving and The Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Foundation.
“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the Cape Cod Foundation for this significant grant for the Cape Cod Tech Foundation,” said Robert Sanborn, superintendent/director of Cape Cod Tech. “The Cape Cod Regional Technical High School District budget allows us to provide tremendous technical and academic programming for our students, while the Cape Cod Tech Foundation addresses the myriad of critical needs that a district budget cannot address.”
“The Cape Cod Foundation’s investment in our mission will bolster our efforts for students and teachers greatly,” Eckel said.