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February 22, 2024

Universal Orlando Foundation Grants $10,000 to MAN UP Mentoring, Inc.          

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By: Samantha Wallace

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Orlando, FL, February 19, 2024 - MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. (MAN UP) was recently awarded the Universal Orlando Foundation (UOF) SPARK grant in the amount of $10,000. The grant is a part of the foundation’s efforts to take a proactive approach in addressing local community issues in the areas of education, children and families, and basic needs.

 

 

The UOF SPARK Grant will help support MAN UP’s new CEO Program. A workforce development initiative that exposes at-risk youth to various career paths, literacy tutoring, financial literacy, and the journey of entrepreneurship, while also serving as a deterrent to youth violence and criminal activity. The first year, 63% of the organization’s mentees successfully completed the pilot program demonstrating incremental gains in their reading levels, knowledge of financial literacy, as well as learned 21st century career readiness and entrepreneurial skills. During the pilot program, MAN UP mentees even had the chance to meet and interview 12 successful African American entrepreneurs from various industries.

 

 

“Creating diverse experiential learning opportunities like this is critical to the success of our mentees, it’s a lifeline,” says the sibling-duo, Chris and Samantha Wallace, founders of the community-based organization. “We thank the Universal Orlando Foundation for investing in our young people and helping local communities like ours thrive.”

 

 

Since its inception in 1998, UOF has delivered $32 million in grants to organizations helping Central Florida’s children and families. Universal Orlando has also created innovative programs and partnerships with the community –including Art of Tomorrow, designed for younger students with an interest in the arts and Bites, Camera, Action, a mobile food pantry. Additionally, last year Universal Orlando team members set out to volunteer more than 35,000 hours at dozens of local organizations, including company-supported events.

 

 

Central Florida is home for the company’s 25,000 team members. “Caring for the community is at the core of what we do at Universal,” said John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Universal Parks & Resorts, and President of the Universal Orlando Foundation, “The work of our community partners is inspiring. We are honored to recognize and support their vision and to work together to bring positive change to our shared community.”

 

 

The Foundation hopes that this grant will help increase each of the organizations’ capacity for continued great work in the local community.  

 

ABOUT MAN UP Mentoring, Inc:

 

MANUP Mentoring, Inc. is community-based non-profit 501c (3) charity organization primarily serving at-risk youth ages 11 through completion of high school or the equivalent across Metro Orlando, with a focus on delinquency prevention and intervention by providing social, educational, and mentoring services. Established in 2014 by Orlando natives, brother and sister duo Christopher and Samantha Wallace. Currently, it is managed by an Executive Director, contractors and a full-time staff of volunteers. It is overseen by a Board of Directors with more than 150 years of law enforcement and civilian experience, as well as advisors from the Orange County Public School System and social services.

 

 

ABOUT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO FOUNDATION

 

The Universal Orlando Foundation (UOF) provides grants to local organizations that take a proactive approach to community needs and concerns in the areas of education, basic needs, children and families. Since 1998, the Foundation has awarded and pledged nearly $32million to organizations and programs that take a proactive approach to community needs in the areas of education, children and families, and basic needs. Learn more at universalorlandofoundation.org

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