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Yuma-ABEC awarded grant of $25,000


Yuma-ABEC Middle School Career Exploration project – a collaborative effort between the Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC), the Yuma County School Superintendent’s office, and various community partners – was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma.





With the additional funding, the program will be able to further expand its project in Yuma with continued support for a full-time project lead position and provision of relevant supplies, field trips and professional development for middle school teachers whose campuses provide career-based programs.

“This grant demonstrates how big of a collaboration the program is,” said Deb Raeder, ABEC vice president and Middle School Career Exploration Project director.

A localized branch of ABEC, the ABEC-Yuma program aims to help seventh- and eighth-graders have a more seamless transition to high school with a framework that makes relevant connections between academics and “real world” work environments.

Now in its second year, Yuma-ABEC currently operates in seven middle and junior high schools, with 750 participating students from both Crane Elementary School District and Yuma School District One. According to Raeder, the program is currently having conversations with the Somerton and Gadsden Elementary School Districts to possibly expand to their students as well.

“The program is still young and it’s fascinating to see how it’s exploded,” Raeder said. “It’s the largest program we have running in any of our counties. The real reason for our success in Yuma County is due by-and-large to Tom Tyree.”


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ABEC Yuma County Locations

Centennial Middle School

2650 W 20th St, Yuma, AZ 85364

(928) 373-3300

Crane Middle School

4450 W 32nd St, Yuma, AZ 85364

(928) 373-3200

Castle Dome Middle School

2353 Otondo Dr, Yuma, AZ 85365

(928) 502-7300

Fourth Avenue Jr. High School

450 S 4th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364

(928) 502-7000

Gila Vista Jr. High School

2245 S Arizona Ave, Yuma, AZ 85365

(928) 502-7100

Gowan Science Academy

1020 S Avenue C, Yuma, AZ 85364

(928) 539-1200

Ron Watson Middle School

9851 E 28th St, Yuma, AZ 85365

(928) 502-7400

R Pete Woodard Junior High School

2250 S 8th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364

(928) 502-7200

San Luis Middle School

1135 Main St, San Luis, AZ 85349

(928) 627-6920

Southwest Junior High School

963 8th Ave, San Luis, AZ 85349

(928) 627-6580