Contact: Katie Stringham
(480) 241-7128

Chandler, AZ (September 10, 2018) – A recent grant awarded to ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth from Thunderbirds Charities will support the organization’s Youth Development Program. Over 80% of ICAN families report poverty-level incomes and 90% of youth qualify for free/reduced meals. ICAN’s Youth Development Program seeks to accomplish five goals: improve life skills; increase resilience to avoid involvement in risky behaviors; improve academic achievement; prepare teens for college/careers; and increase community attachment through regular service work.

“ICAN is honored to have been chosen by Thunderbirds Charities for support of our Youth Development Program. This program is ICAN’s core focus, providing life skills training to youth with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and providing them with a brighter future,” stated ICAN’s Chief Executive Officer, Shelby Pedersen.

“The Thunderbirds are proud to support ICAN’s Youth Development program,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Carlos Sugich. “They’re teaching our youth essential life skills, and we are happy to help their efforts.”

ICAN welcomes over 500 youth a year with free programs, including meals and transportation. ICAN youth live in low income neighborhoods and face a number of daily risk factors, including chronic poverty, hunger and food insecurity, poor performance in school, and exposure to substance abuse and violence. The Youth Development Program offers instruction in life and leadership skills and substance abuse prevention. A variety of evidence-based curricula are used which teach social-emotional skills, peer pressure resistance, risk avoidance, and resiliency. These courses help youth to develop the skills and confidence to successfully navigate health and safety risks.

About ICAN:
ICAN is a free youth center in the East Valley that offers programming for youth, teens, families and the community. ICAN’s nationally-recognized prevention programming teaches disadvantaged youth real-life skills including goal setting, positive decision making and how to avoid the risky behaviors that are prevalent in the community ICAN serves. ICAN’s evidence-based programming equips youth to achieve personal and academic success. Parenting classes and substance abuse education complete ICAN’s programming, impacting the entire community. ICAN is accredited by the National Council on Accreditation, was recently named “Outstanding Afterschool Program” by the Arizona Center for After School Excellence and is a four-time winner of “Best Places to Work.” For more information about ICAN, call (480) 821-4207 or visit www.icanaz.org.

About The Thunderbirds/Thunderbirds Charities:
Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.