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Aberdeen Charitable Foundation Pledges to Support Mantua After-School Program

March 8, 2013

The Mantua in Action summer program brings together middle school students for enrichment opportunities
Mantua in Action brings together sports and enrichment opportunities for students and provides a safe environment during after-school hours

The Aberdeen Charitable Foundation has committed to providing three years of funding for Mantua in Action, an after-school youth development program for middle-schoolers in Mantua. The program aims to transform educational outcomes for Mantua youth by helping them succeed in school, matriculate and successfully graduate from high school.

Mantua in Action is a broad partnership between Drexel University, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC), the We Are Mantua community planning effort, the DB4 youth task force and the Mantua Community Improvement Committee (MCIC). It is coordinated by a non-profit organization, CustomED.

The comprehensive program brings together sports and enrichment opportunities to help students develop athletic skills and academic abilities, benefit from peer and adult role models and demonstrate greater competence and success for the future. Students enrolled in the program are provided with academic assistance through homework help and tutoring, opportunities to participate in new sports and team-based physical activities and a safe environment during after-school hours.

Created in 2012, the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation focuses on changing the lives of young people through education and access to opportunities in communities around the globe.

"The Mantua in Action summer program brings together students for enrichment opportunitiesAs a global investment manager, Aberdeen Asset Management is a careful steward of our client’s assets. Through the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation, our aim is to play our part in the stewardship of our local communities, focusing on young people and education,” said Quinn Tran, chair of the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation in the United States. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to engage with strong partners in Drexel University and the City of Philadelphia, to positively impact the lives of young people in the Mantua community.”

In addition to serving the middle-school-aged youth in the community, Mantua in Action employs young adults as junior coaches to provide the day-to-day assistance and supervision of the participants. The junior coaches receive training in youth enrichment, supervision, program management and coaching.

“Every child deserves an engaging after-school program, but middle-school students, especially in distressed neighborhoods, have a particular need for programs that will help them through emotionally challenging middle school transition years,” said Lucy Kerman, vice provost for University and Community Partnerships at Drexel University. “Specifically, after-school and summer programming for middle-school youth can keep them connected to their communities and can help build their commitment to their own future."

Theater Program Director Nick Anselmo works with kids in the Mantua in Action summer program“We are very excited for this partnership to provide high-quality youth programming for the Mantua community.  With support from Aberdeen and other partners, we hope to replicate this kind of partnership in other after-school programs citywide,” said Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for Environmental and Community Resources and commissioner for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

A pilot program for Mantua in Action was held during the summer of 2012, which engaged nearly 150 students. In the fall of 2012, the program expanded with approximately 200 Mantua middle school students participating in a 38-week program that operates each weekday from 3 – 6 p.m. at three sites within the neighborhood: the McMichael Morton School, James L. Wright Recreation Center and the Miles Mack Recreation Center in Mantua.

The grant to Mantua in Action was facilitated by Drexel's Office of Government and Community Relations.

About the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation
Aberdeen recognizes our responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate.  Last year marked a milestone in the Group’s philanthropic activities with the launch of the Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation in March 2012.  The aim of the Foundation is to expand and formalize charitable investment across the Group.  The Foundation has two core focuses – emerging markets and local communities, reflecting our ambition to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the established pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.  We seek partnerships with smaller charities where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and where employees can use their time and skills to support the selected projects. To date, the Foundation has supported 79 charities in 19 of our global office locations. For more information about Aberdeen, please visit

About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is the City department that is most engaged in the lives of residents and visitors alike on a daily basis. Through its programs, policies and physical amenities, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation promotes the well-being of the City, its citizens and visitors, by offering beautiful natural landscapes and parks, historically significant resources, high quality recreation centers and athletic programs, along with enriching cultural and environmental programs.

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