Prodigy continues fight to keep funding for after school programs

Program's budget still in limbo

TAMPA, Fla. - Right now, the fight is on to keep funding for after school programs in the Tampa Bay area. The Prodigy program helps kids in need in seven counties, free of charge. But only half their budget is secure for 2017 and 2018.

Hip hop dance is just one of the classes kids can take through the Prodigy program and they recently performed outside the state capitol.

"We need to get young people involved in the advocacy process the legislative process let them speak their truth," Mike Trepper, Director of the Prodigy Arts Program, said.

The state budget is in committee conferences. Half of the $4.6 million Prodigy needs is set, but the rest is up in the air.

"If there's cuts in our funding we will have to make some tough decisions and close classes cut classes," Trepper said.

That's the last thing mother of twin boys Katrina Osborne wants to see happen. Her family has relied on Prodigy.

"I'm grateful, we were in a position where I had lost my job and it was like we need some assistance we need some help," Osborne said.

A group of students and parents all traveled to Tallahassee to speak with lawmakers, hoping to convince them to keep Prodigy's funding in tact.

"Having the students speak about the really true impact on their life about that they wouldn't have any other places to go after school or the skills that they learned," Trepper said. "Right now is very crucial for the community to get involved and contact their local legislators."

It could be days or weeks before they learn their funding fate. To learn more about Prodigy, visit: http://www.uacdc.org/index.php/about-prodigy.

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