Apex Systems is proud to announce our Grants for Good 2023 Q1 winner: the Leadership and Achievement Academy.

Each quarter, Apex Systems’ Grants for Good program awards a nonprofit organization a $1,000 grant. It’s an important way for our consultants, clients, and Apex to contribute to nonprofits and positively impact the communities where we live, serve, and work.

We are excited to announce our 2023 Q1 Grants for Good winner is the Leadership and Achievement Academy.

The Awarded Organization

Based in Richmond, Virginia, the Leadership and Achievement Academy offers unique learning experiences to students in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as young adults right out of school.

Their mission is to help underserved youths navigate the challenges of school and their socioeconomic environment. Since 2016, the Academy has offered a variety of after-school and summer programs that expose children to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

The Academy focuses on the five E's: exposure, experiences, education, engagement, and entry-level employment opportunities. They use non-traditional teaching approaches to keep the kids engaged.

For example, the Academy utilizes a STEM Sports Science learning module where they teach kids about fundamental concepts like gravity, speed, velocity, and trajectory through the purview of sports. They also use STEM escape rooms to explain mathematical concepts that help kids learn while entertaining them.

Older teens also benefit from the nonprofit’s services. The Academy partners with various corporations to provide high school students and recent graduates with mock interview guidance as well as internship and job opportunities.

The nonprofit organization has supported over 1,500 kids in the Richmond area.

Who Nominated Them and How They Are Involved

Dr. Michael Edwards, an IT project manager who has worked with Apex for nearly 10 years, nominated the Leadership and Achievement Academy for the grant. He serves as the Academy’s executive director and estimates that the nonprofit has supported over 1,500 kids.

“I'm so thankful for this $1,000 grant from Apex Systems,” Edwards states. “It's going to help us deliver our community Friday nights during the summer. We're so excited about that.”

The community nights take place in inner-city Southside Richmond to give kids more structure, routine, and engaging experiences within their neighborhood.

“These nights provide them with a place of mentorship, a place to get away from sitting in front of the computer,” Edwards explains. “They can come and enjoy spending time with others of like minds. We will continue to focus on these kids, because they are the ones who want to make a difference in our community.”

The events include free food, giveaways, and engaging activities for the children to enjoy. “The [grant] resources are used to secure the facility, purchase food, and help with the kids’ giveaways,” Edwards says.

How Contributions and Volunteerism Make an Impact

In today’s evolving digital world, nonprofit challenges include financial regulations, compliance, reporting, and increased competition for donors and volunteers.

According to the Center for Association Leadership, “Nonprofits…need to contend with many challenges in 2023, including labor shortages, inflation, donor hesitancy, rising costs, cyber threats, and falling endowments.”

Donations, volunteers, and grants can all help nonprofits so they can continue making a difference in the community.

In the case of the Leadership and Achievement Academy, according to Edwards, they’re always looking for the three Ts from volunteers: time, talent, and treasure.

“Your time is always valuable," Edwards says. “If your talent is teaching, you can come in and provide a class. If your talent is that you love to garden, I can write a curriculum for you to do a flowerbed at one of the schools. And treasure…we gratefully take donations. Anything that anybody wants to bring [to the table], just contact us!”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Academy or volunteering, email Edwards or visit their website.

About the Grants for Good Program

Turn your passion for a nonprofit into something more by nominating them for the Grants for Good Program. They have a chance to receive a $1,000 grant. There are many people in your community who do great work, and this is the perfect opportunity for them to be rewarded for their service.

The process is simple—just fill out this nonprofit nomination form. It’s a rewarding way to invest your time, especially if our next grant recipient is the nonprofit you nominated!

Learn about our past Grants for Good winners here.