October 2, 2018 11:58 am

Pierce College’s Lakewood Computer Clubhouse will continue to inspire local youth through innovative STEM programming thanks to a $9,500 community grant awarded by Best Buy on Oct. 2. The grant will support the operation of the college’s after-school program, allowing the organization to revamp its space and purchase new equipment.
 
The Lakewood Computer Clubhouse, based at Lochburn Middle School, is a free after-school drop-in center open every weekday from 3:15-5:30 p.m. The program provides activities designed for youth ages 8 to 18.
 
Clubhouse members explore cutting-edge software, collaborating with others in an informal learning environment. The clubhouse is supported by the Pierce College Foundation in partnership with the Clover Park School District and the City of Lakewood. Mentors from Pierce College and beyond spend time at the clubhouse working with youth on a variety of projects, while also exposing them to higher education.
 
With this grant, Clubhouse Coordinator Stella Kemper hopes to bring even more STEM education opportunities to youth who many not have access to technology at home. “Many kids are just looking for a place where they belong, and some of them come from complicated family backgrounds,” Kemper said. “The clubhouse gives them a chance to be challenged in a safe environment where all kids are comfortable.”