Located in Fox Chase, CORA provides children with academic support, psychological services, speech and language services and school counseling. Its OST program was recently renamed YOUTHCOR, “cor” being Latin for heart and originally the intended name for CORA.
“CORA is geared towards providing a lot of different services for the children, whether it be emotional support or if the children are having trouble at school or trouble at home they can always go to CORA for some type of counseling,” said Angela Stevens, site coordinator for YOUTHCOR.
YOUTHCOR provides OST services to youth from K to 12th grade.
The program includes Loesche Elementary School, Northwood Academy Charter School, Robert Pollock Elementary , Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and George Washington High School. Loesche, Pollock and Washington were added to CORA’s OST network in 2017 and the organization looks to continue its expansion.
“The YOUTHCOR difference is that youth are the center, the driver, the life of the program,” said Kyle Rouse, after-school services supervisor for CORA.
Currently, 230 students are enrolled and the summer program is expected to reach 255 students.
“In after-school programs, children get a sense of structure, they learn to make new friends and are a part of a diverse culture,” said Stevens. “Not everyone in the program is going to look like them, talk like them and act like them.”
YOUTHCOR recruits around 40 high school students for various summer jobs and it hires 35 students for the summer.
At Loesche Elementary, children receive educational assistance from CORA staff, as well as being able to participate in various activities.
Third grader Abdul Rakhimov said he liked the help he gets with his homework after school and is really looking forward to joining the summer camp for the first time.
“I want to do lots of things at camp like sports or cooking,” said Rakhimov, whose favorite sport is soccer because he gets to kick the ball.
For fourth grader Mariya Penkhaslva, the best part of the after-school program is playing during free time with the other children and the CORA staff.
“Most of the time we do stuff like arts and crafts and I like that,” said Penkhaslva.
–Text, video and images by Kristof Phillips