Cephas announces $42,562 grant for Overbrook Youth Environmental Stewardship Program

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Educational Grants Program has awarded a $42,562 grant to the Overbrook Youth Environmental Stewardship Program.

O’YES is a program created by the Juveniles Active in Science and Technology Development Services Inc. Cephas, a champion of environmental justice, helped JASTECH secure the grant.

“I am excited to partner with JASTECH to encourage youth in the 192nd District to take an active role in protecting our environment,” Cephas said. “The center has been leading the charge on exposing our youth to becoming environmental stewards in their community. This grant will allow us to connect young stewards to community leaders who play a significant role in keeping Philadelphia’s air, water and land safe.”

O’YES is a two-year environmental education camp that teaches high school science, technology, engineering and math students the best management practices to protect the environment. The O’YES program was developed through the Overbrook Education Center and operated by JASTECH Development Services Inc. Established as a non-profit, 501c3 entity in 1998, JASTECH continues to contribute to the improvement of the environment, education and public health.

“This will be a great opportunity to create and expand career pathways for career technical education students by connecting them to summer jobs and post-secondary classes that will help further their career in environmental stewardship,” Cephas said. “They will be able to further develop the research, problem-solving, and teamwork skills they learn while in school. O’YES is the perfect example of why extracurricular activities are critical to the development of our students.”

Cephas will serve on the O’YES Advisory Team. As a member of the advisory team, Cephas will help select youth stewards, make recommendations on the O’YES program curriculum, and support youth stewards with their presentations, projects and programs.

Last year, Gov. Tom Wolf declared that Cephas’ district would be among the 79 statewide projects to receive the Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Education Grants for 2017.

Cephas added, “This is great news for the youth of Philadelphia and I am extremely honored to help launch this initiative.”