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Leaven Kids
By Leaven Kids on July 25, 2023

Leaven Kids Secures $60,000 Grant from Valero

July 25, 2023 PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Leaven Kids Secures $60,000 Grant from Valero to Expand Access to Educational Services for Local Youth

•Valero has awarded $60,000 in grant funding to Leaven Kids
• This grant will support the purchase of an 8-passenger van, which will be used to transport students to-and-from Leaven Kids’ Benicia-based learning center and provide logistical support for local field trips

FAIRFIELD, CA - Leaven Kids, a non-profit 501(c)3 committed to early childhood education, has been awarded a $60,000 grant from Valero to expand access to its educational programs and services within the greater-Benicia area.

“Leaven Kids would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Valero and its leadership team, who have long been a vocal advocate for our mission and the development of early childhood education in our region,” said Mark Lillis, Chief Executive Officer for Leaven Kids. “Without the support of our local partners, we would not have the impact that we see today in places like Benicia. It is through the generous financial support from companies like Valero that Leaven Kids is able to maximize our impact and help ensure local students have access to the educational resources they need to succeed, both in school and in life.”

Through the use of these funds, Leaven Kids will purchase an 8-passenger van, which will provide transportation for students to-and-from its Benicia-based learning center and enable greater logistical support during scheduled field trips. Past field trips have included visits to local museums, landmarks, educational venues, military bases, and businesses - all of which encourage students to consider future careers and identify areas of interest.

With 5 vans already in operation across its 22 learning centers, an additional vehicle will expand Leaven Kids’ reach and enable a greater degree of flexibility when conducting operations within Solano County. By aggregating this resource with vans in neighboring communities, Leaven Kids can help remove transportation as a barrier to students looking to take advantage of local community resources and increase their access to transformative educational experiences.

“Transportation is a critical first-step to ensuring that local youth have access to the in-community resources made available to them through programs like Leaven Kids,” said Paul Adler, Director of Community Relations and Government Affairs for Valero. “Through the purchase and mobilization of an 8-passenger van, we can help remove obstacles faced by young students when looking to connect with local educational services. In addition, this capability will open up new opportunities for students to participate in Leaven Kids-led field trips held throughout Solano County, offering exciting, community-driven experiences that are both educational and character-formative.”

Leaven Kids is dedicated to expanding student access to valuable after-school tutoring and mentorship by providing reliable transportation directly to its learning center facilities. The addition of this vehicle will allow for more Benicia-based students to engage in hands-on, career broadening experiences - a critical piece to a child’s educational development. “Leaven Kids’ mission is more than just paper and pencils,” said Gen. Maryanne Miller (Ret.), Leaven Kids Board of Directors Vice President and retired 4-star U.S. Air Force General. “By investing in the educational development of our youth, we are transforming their outlook on life and helping them reimagine the possibilities that exist beyond the classroom.” ###

About Leaven Kids
Since 2009, Leaven Kids has provided free after-school tutoring and mentoring to some of California’s most at-risk neighborhoods. It serves as an in-community resource for children and their families by building educational centers in areas hardest hit by poverty, crime, and high drop-out rates among youth. With the help of dedicated volunteers, Leaven Kids helps to transform entire communities by providing love and patience to children struggling to learn and succeed in school. To learn more, visit

Contact for Media Samuel Swanson 

Published by Leaven Kids July 25, 2023
Leaven Kids