Connect to My Altheimer recently focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and work opportunities for the fifth year, according to a news release from the sponsor, Kansas City Teen Summit (KCTS.)

Founded by Altheimer native Brenette Wilder, KCTS conducted the Connect to My Altheimer 2018 from June 16 to July 31 at Altheimer and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“Like a dream that takes effect with emphasis of great importance and feeling, this program was put into action for the love of family and community,” a spokesman said in the news release. “With great investment of time from UAPB STEM professors and Altheimer’s leaders, it has sustained.”

Eleven KCTS students participated in the project, working in the classroom and in community service.

“They lived out KCTS’ mission to enhance education and workplace readiness. Unbeknownst to them, they added experience that can never be taken away,” the spokesman said.

“Having dependable leaders to support a program makes all the difference. The first leaders our teens come in contact with are UAPB’s professors and secretary. Without a good first impression the program can fail. However, our students were greeted by warm, knowledgeable, and capable professors that inspired them. But, it doesn’t end there. Our reading, art and property cleanup work leaders made the workspace enjoyable thanks to Mrs. Ora Faye Hudson-Reynolds, Philip Coleman and Markeith Woods,” according to the release.

This year, other business partners joined the efforts and were excited to provide opportunities for teens to be helpers in their workplaces. Sharon Reams Salon and Altheimer Public Library found ways to give teens a chance grow.

At the end of the program in July, the art students displayed an artistic book box that was to be placed next to the Altheimer Mayor’s office for the community use.

“If you read a good book and want to share it with others, place it in the book box. It is a free donation to share with others. The books must not be offensive or inappropriate. And it must not be used as a place to dump unwanted books,” according to the release.

KCTS also looked toward the future.

“Next year, the program will start the transition from the old vision to the new one. The old vision was a planting vision. The new vision summons the community to receive the program that was promised them and to produce something better. If everything goes well, KCTS will work towards passing the baton to the community. Because, after all, it’s everyone’s job to strength our community anyway we can. So, make sure you get involved and help. If you have enjoyed our program contact the mayor to volunteer,” a spokesman said.

Wilder and KCTS thanked donors including the Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, Altheimer alumni, KCTS, Sunflower Health Plan, friends and family.