Our History

YMIC began with an idea generated by its founder and President, Mr. Richard Roberts, III. As a young engineering student at Widener College, Richard took note that there were not very many young men of color in his program of study. As a professional in the engineering field, he also found that colleagues from minority groups were few and far between. He began to formulate a concept: a program that would support African American and Latino males to develop their academic skills and gain the social supports they would need to be successful in college and in their careers.
In 2007, YMIC became incorporated, and in 2010, received its 501 c3 nonprofit certification to provide services to youth in fifth through twelfth grades in Philadelphia and suburban communities. The inaugural class of 18 male Scholars began the West Chester chapter in the fall of that year. During the 2013-2014 program year, YMIC opened its doors to young women and began doing business as Young Men and Women In Charge (YMWIC) Foundation, Inc., to provide STEM-related development and leadership activities for young men and young women.
YMWIC’s mission is to empower and prepare economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented youth to excel and become leaders in STEM careers through academic tutoring, mentoring and financial assistance programs, accomplished by leveraging alliances with K-12 school districts, universities, corporations, and the Foundation’s committed partners. This mission is accomplished by embracing a family model that provides individually targeted services: academic support and tutoring, leadership development, scientific research training, public speaking, community service, junior mentoring, college readiness, college tours, and industry experiences in many STEM-related careers.  Scholars may participate in YMWIC Special Interest Groups, such as the Young Scholar Leadership Team (YSLT), robotics team, jazz ensemble, choir, and coaching from personal mentors in the STEM professions. Additionally, YMWIC’s STEM-based summer enrichment programs serve our Scholars and hundreds more students in first through twelfth grades.
Once enrolled in the organization, each young Scholar and his or her family become part of the YMWIC family. They make a commitment to stay in the Foundation until high school graduation, to participate fully in program activities, and maintain a high grade point average.
While in college, thanks to the commitment of YMWIC’s corporate and university partners, each Scholar alum who maintains the Foundation’s academic requirements and standards is eligible to receive scholarship support and participate in internships that will prepare them for STEM careers.
YMWIC Foundation, Inc. offers five academic Scholar groups for students in grades three through twelve. Aligned with the Foundation’s mission, Scholar groups and activities aim to bridge the gap between academic study and real life by providing opportunities, projects, and challenges that simulate real-world activities.
The Future Stars, Pluto, and Neptune Scholar Programs are designed to increase students’ appreciation for math and science, through hands-on projects that demonstrate the fun and challenging side of these subjects. Technical workshops in STEM are administered by staff or partners so that Scholars can gain deeper insight and exposure to these careers and opportunities. Jupiter and Saturn Scholars participate in more leadership, college, and career-readiness activities, as they prepare to transition to their post high school pathways. All Scholars complete scientific research projects to prepare them for the rigor of the STEM undergraduate curriculum. By embracing the YMWIC Credo, each Scholar is reminded about accountability and the importance of giving back.
Today, YMWIC has seven chapters in the Philadelphia suburbs, West Chester, Norristown, Coatesville, Upper Darby, William Penn, and our newest chapters, Phoenixville, and Chester Upland. Included in the many funding sources YMWIC receives is the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Upward Bound grant for first-generation college attending, low-income and at-risk students, allowing us to reach even more youth in the Coatesville Chapter. To date, YMWIC is serving more than 200 Scholars and over 40 alum, all of whom are earning their undergraduate degrees, continuing post-graduate studies, or pursuing a professional career after graduating from college. We are proud to report that most of our college graduates are enjoying success in a STEM career.
The efforts of Richard and the services from YMWIC have given many families hope through knowing that college and these careers are within reach for their children. The community model is implemented through partnerships with corporations, universities, and other nonprofit and community organizations. These partners participate in all levels of the program. The goal is to implement this community-based model in all school districts in our country that have significant numbers of underperforming students. This accomplishment will make a significant impact on the achievement gap among African American and Latino youth in math and science, increase the number of women in STEM, and improve economic development through these youth as they are positioned to secure higher-paying jobs in their communities.

Our Programs

YMIC began with an idea generated by its founder and President, Mr. Richard Roberts, III. As a young engineering student at Widener College, Richard took note that there were not very many young men of color in his program of study. As a professional in the engineering field, he also found that colleagues from minority groups were few and far between. He began to formulate a concept: a program that would support African American and Latino males to develop their academic skills and gain the social supports they would need to be successful in college and in their careers.
In 2007, YMIC became incorporated, and in 2010, received its 501 c3 nonprofit certification to provide services to youth in fifth through twelfth grades in Philadelphia and suburban communities. The inaugural class of 18 male Scholars began the West Chester chapter in the fall of that year. During the 2013-2014 program year, YMIC opened its doors to young women and began doing business as Young Men and Women In Charge (YMWIC) Foundation, Inc., to provide STEM-related development and leadership activities for young men and young women.
YMWIC’s mission is to empower and prepare economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented youth to excel and become leaders in STEM careers through academic tutoring, mentoring and financial assistance programs, accomplished by leveraging alliances with K-12 school districts, universities, corporations, and the Foundation’s committed partners. This mission is accomplished by embracing a family model that provides individually targeted services: academic support and tutoring, leadership development, scientific research training, public speaking, community service, junior mentoring, college readiness, college tours, and industry experiences in many STEM-related careers.  Scholars may participate in YMWIC Special Interest Groups, such as the Young Scholar Leadership Team (YSLT), robotics team, jazz ensemble, choir, and coaching from personal mentors in the STEM professions. Additionally, YMWIC’s STEM-based summer enrichment programs serve our Scholars and hundreds more students in first through twelfth grades.
Once enrolled in the organization, each young Scholar and his or her family become part of the YMWIC family. They make a commitment to stay in the Foundation until high school graduation, to participate fully in program activities, and maintain a high grade point average.
While in college, thanks to the commitment of YMWIC’s corporate and university partners, each Scholar alum who maintains the Foundation’s academic requirements and standards is eligible to receive scholarship support and participate in internships that will prepare them for STEM careers.
YMWIC Foundation, Inc. offers five academic Scholar groups for students in grades three through twelve. Aligned with the Foundation’s mission, Scholar groups and activities aim to bridge the gap between academic study and real life by providing opportunities, projects, and challenges that simulate real-world activities.
The Future Stars, Pluto, and Neptune Scholar Programs are designed to increase students’ appreciation for math and science, through hands-on projects that demonstrate the fun and challenging side of these subjects. Technical workshops in STEM are administered by staff or partners so that Scholars can gain deeper insight and exposure to these careers and opportunities. Jupiter and Saturn Scholars participate in more leadership, college, and career-readiness activities, as they prepare to transition to their post high school pathways. All Scholars complete scientific research projects to prepare them for the rigor of the STEM undergraduate curriculum. By embracing the YMWIC Credo, each Scholar is reminded about accountability and the importance of giving back.
Today, YMWIC has seven chapters in the Philadelphia suburbs, West Chester, Norristown, Coatesville, Upper Darby, William Penn, and our newest chapters, Phoenixville, and Chester Upland. Included in the many funding sources YMWIC receives is the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Upward Bound grant for first-generation college attending, low-income and at-risk students, allowing us to reach even more youth in the Coatesville Chapter. To date, YMWIC is serving more than 200 Scholars and over 40 alum, all of whom are earning their undergraduate degrees, continuing post-graduate studies, or pursuing a professional career after graduating from college. We are proud to report that most of our college graduates are enjoying success in a STEM career.
The efforts of Richard and the services from YMWIC have given many families hope through knowing that college and these careers are within reach for their children. The community model is implemented through partnerships with corporations, universities, and other nonprofit and community organizations. These partners participate in all levels of the program. The goal is to implement this community-based model in all school districts in our country that have significant numbers of underperforming students. This accomplishment will make a significant impact on the achievement gap among African American and Latino youth in math and science, increase the number of women in STEM, and improve economic development through these youth as they are positioned to secure higher-paying jobs in their communities.


Our Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Courtney Allen, MSEE, PE, Senior Engineer, PECO; Board Vice President
Aaron Cunningham, Senior Engineering Manager, Duke Energy
Gilbert Davis, Interim Associate CIO, IS/HIM, Business Operations, Training, Business Continuity, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Preston Hawkins, CPA, VP, Corporate Finance and Treasury, Day & Zimmerman
Michael King, Partner, Itelligence, Senior Director, Client Engagement
Marianne Martelli, Retired
Richard Roberts, III, Executive Director, YMWIC
Vincent Ross, Area Sales Manager, Bayer Crop Science
Joanne Santomauro, CEO, Ancillare
Divya Tolani, WSFS, Manager, Retail Performance Management, Board Secretary

Advisory Team

George Barrar
Tanya Baxter, Volunteer
Ted Childs
Dr. Zebulun R. Davenport
Senator Andrew Dinniman (Retired)
David Elderkin
Karen Etchberger, CSL Behring
Peter Flamini
Barbara Gee
Larry Gladney, Ph.D.
Dexter Hamilton, Esq.
Stan Herrin
Noemi Lattanzio, CSL Behring
Mandy Santiago
Brian Stocker
Dale Thompson
Donna Thompson
Roland Thompson
Levi Wingard

Administrative Support and Staff

Karen Aguilar, High School Intern
Janis Bady, Quality Assurance Associate
Robin Brown, Training and Media Associate
Eric Doe, STEM Educator
Chuck Gardner, Information Systems Associate
Naomi Hampson, STEM Educator
Alissa Karpovich, Site Coordinator: Norristown, Phoenixville, West Chester, William Penn
Bridget Kehoe, Operations Associate
Heather Leamon, STEM Educator; Interim Site Coordinator: Upper Darby
Richard Roberts, III, Executive Director
Shari Rouleau, Coatesville Program Coordinator
Angela Smith, Academic Coach and Career Counselor
Asia Tilghman, High School Intern
Cathy Vilches, Operations and Finance Associate
Octavia Warren-Ward, STEM Educator