Starting in the critical middle school years, P4L offers tech enrichment programs to low-income students and students of color – who are vastly underrepresented in the field. Its free, hands-on, after-school sessions on coding, programming, digital art, filmmaking, video game development, electronics, and robotics are designed both to connect to youth culture and to help students develop skills they can use to build a future. When schools closed in March, P4L made sure its families had access to food while also ensuring students had the technology they needed to continue their work. Instructors retooled, offering programs on video platforms and delivering kits for hands-on electronics/robotics projects kids could do (with coaching) at home. Programs will remain virtual through fall 2020 but the long-term uncertainty is what makes things hardest. As one leader remarked, “we are designing the plane while flying it.”

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County; Silver Spring; Takoma Park; Wheaton; Aspen Hill-Rockville

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: A. Mario Loiederman Middle School; Eastern Middle Schoool; Sligo Middle School; Argyle Middle School; Colonel E. Brooke Lee Middle School; Parkland Middle School; Silver Spring International Middle School

  • Number of middle school youth we serve each year:   150
  • Youth developed new interests in taking digital technology courses in high school:   80%
  • Youth expressed that our digital tech programs helped them think about their futures:   81%
  • Youth told us that they planned to seek four year college degrees after high school graduation:   76%
  • Youth expect that their future career will require digital technology skills:   60%

Awards & Recognition

In February 2016, Passion for Learning (P4L) was highlighted on public radio station, WAMU, and its "Community Minute" feature. "Community Minute" is a “community service designed to help the station better engage with our listeners and the local organizations that help improve the quality of their lives.” In addition to the month-long "Community Minute" highlight, WAMU’s web site included a feature about P4L for listeners who were interested in learning more about our work with economically disadvantaged middle school students.

In April of 2015, P4L and our Executive Director, Cynthia Rubenstein, received the "Distinguished Service to Public Education Award" from the Montgomery County Board of Education. We were recognized and honored for "our exemplary work and dedication to improving the academic success of MCPS students, especially those who are academically at-risk."

Passion for Learning (P4L) has been included three times in the print catalogue of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington: in 2016-2017, 2012-2013 as well as in 2007-2008, when we were first recognized.


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Passion for Learning is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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