The money will help expand Boys & Girls Clubs
of America's youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
programs and support high-tech skills that were not only a major theme in the movie's plot, but are essential in helping youths succeed.
It will help bolster STEM offerings in 12 communities across the country, including here in Philadelphia
, according to the company's chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger.
"Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' is a masterpiece of moviemaking, and has
become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring
people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths," Iger said
in a statement.
"It is thrilling to see how inspired young
audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it's fitting
that we show our appreciation by helping advance underserved areas of the
country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they
want," he continued.
In addition to Philadelphia, the curriculum
and new centers will serve (and, ideally, inspire) kids and teens in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Harlem (New York City); Hartford, CT; Memphis, TN; New Orleans; Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; Washington, DC and the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles.
"Thanks to Disney's support, we can expand our outreach and allow more youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers." -- Jim Clark, BGCA
Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Centers of Innovation provide youth
with hands-on, advanced technologies that stimulate creative approaches to
STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video
production and conferencing equipment.
In addition, a fully dedicated STEM
expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world
applications to help club members develop their STEM skills and critical
"From hands-on interactive programs to critical thinking, Boys & Girls
Clubs of America is committed to providing thousands of young people with
the tools they need to prepare for a great future," said Jim Clark, BGCA's president and CEO. "Thanks to Disney's support, we can expand our outreach and allow more
youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers."
Joseph Marziello, who along with Lisabeth Marziello is CEO of the Boys
& Girls Club of Philadelphia, said he is happy that Philly is one of
the cities being assisted by Disney.
"We're excited, of course," he told PhillyVoice. "We hope to have the
details in a couple weeks. But, of course, this is great news and we're
grateful and thankful to Disney.
"Black Panther seems to be a movie everyone seems to like and all I can
say is I hope it keeps going."