Geborah Joseph-Smith, a recent University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee graduate who was served through the Schoolhouse Link program last year (center), with Schoolhouse Link program director Ellen McLaughlin and youth education advocate Karen Mersinger

The Sarasota YMCA recently received two grants that will be used to support its Schoolhouse Link program: $164,735 from the Esther & Harold Mertz Foundation and $25,000 from the McCune Family Foundation. The Schoolhouse Link program serves homeless youths who are with their families, as well as those who are homeless and not in the custody of a parent or guardian. The goal is to ensure that those students are able to enroll, attend and succeed in school. Forty-nine students who have participated in the program recently graduate from high school.

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