Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.
Almost a year ago, The Learning Hub was closing shop.
We had first attempted to bring a creative learning center to the children of Worcester; but most importantly, to the children living in the neighborhoods around Pleasant Street – one of the many forgotten areas in Worcester’s low-income portfolio – and we failed.
Overhead costs were unsustainable, demand for our services was low, and our location was limited in size and growth potential. Through our struggle to attract a broader local community and allow them to see what we offered, we learned the value of mobility and closed our doors at 253 Pleasant St.
Since July 2016, we embraced the concept of mobility and launched a library initiative to bring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning to all of the state’s communities through the revitalization of programming for children in libraries across Massachusetts.
In the 13-plus months since, we have hosted more than 140 classes, at libraries in five cities and towns and have taught more than 2,000 students. Our mission to increase STEAM accessibility to young students has been a success – at least, to the standards of our definition of success.
But the mission is never over, and as we continue to expand to other libraries in Massachusetts, like the Sherborn Public Library and Needham Public Library, we’ve come to realize our expansion options are limited by the almighty dollar.
Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The business of growing up, or scroll down to explore more of her story.