Donation to help mentoring program expand in Harrisburg

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jul 26, 2013 4:00 AM

Photo by witf/Matt Paul

Metro Bank Chief Lending Officer Adam Metz talks with Joshua Group Founder and Director Kirk Hallett

(Harrisburg) -- Dreams of an expansion are finally becoming reality for Joshua Group founder and director Kirk Hallett. For years, he says he's coveted the old McCloskey Memorial School building in Harrisburg's Allison Hill neighborhood from the nonprofit's offices across the street.

Now, Metro Bank has stepped in and donated the facility to the mentoring program for at-risk children.

"Barring somebody just dropping a million bucks on us, I knew we couldn't buy it and then fix it up," Hallett explains. "That's what makes it so beautiful is that Metro heard that we were a good organization and they thought this would be a good thing to do, and it is -- more than they even know -- as to the impact it will have on this community."


Photo by witf/Matt Paul

Joshua Group participants Lance Deane and Darnell Holland will both be starting college in the fall

The Joshua Group currently serves 150 at-risk children with pre-kindergarten and after school tutoring programs. But once renovations are complete at the forthcoming Joshua Learning Center, Hallett says they'll be able to serve 250 kids.

97 percent of the participants in the nonprofit's programs go on to graduate, and Hallett says they have 15 kids in college this year.

18-year-old Lance Deane will soon be heading off to Kutztown University. He says it probably wouldn't have been possible without the Joshua Group. "Mr. Kirk, he's like an extra father figure that I have with me that I can always depend on," Deane says.

The group has just $95,000 left to raise for the $750,000 renovation project.

Published in Harrisburg, News

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