Scottsdale, Ariz. (Dec. 22, 2023) – In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Panda Express presented the ribbon cutting for the newest Panda Cares Center of Hope, taking place at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Panda Express are proud to bring a Panda Cares Center of Hope to south Scottsdale. The opening of this Center of Hope aligns directly with Panda Express’ commitment to fostering academic success among Boys & Girls Clubs members across the country.

Panda Cares Center of Hope is a newly renovated space within the Club designed to deliver more joy, education, and critical social-emotional development to local communities. Project Learn, the platform that unites each Center of Hope, is a holistic strategy intended to reinforce and enhance what youth learn during the school day, while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning.

Rooted in social-emotional development, Project Learn is based on research showing that students do better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun and academically beneficial activities.

“Our Panda Cares Center of Hope was formerly a multi-use space on the youth side of the Club,” said Lyric Naquin. “It has been beautifully transformed and now features new collaborative modular tables, seating, laptops, a quiet reading corner, and a large format TV allowing this room to meet the ways children learn, engage, and grow today.”

The Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch sees nearly 200 youth each day. As part of Project Learn, Club members will have access to the room as a quiet, fresh place to complete their homework and get help from adult mentors. The room will also be utilized for fun hands-on activities that feel more like play than learning guided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) youth development professionals.

“Families rely on our Clubs for the support their children need to be successful in school and to broaden their learning. The Panda Cares Center of Hope will be where that happens,” said Naquin.

Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and its nine locations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Employment opportunities are available at www.bgcs.org/jobs.


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
For 69 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (bgcs.org) has enabled young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, eight clubhouses and a community impact site serve more than 6,500 young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located throughout Scottsdale, in Fountain Hills, north Phoenix, on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and in Peach Springs on the Hualapai Nation. The Clubs are a safe place with caring adult mentors that provide fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs daily during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Panda Express
On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express® is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known as a trailblazer for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp™, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,400 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to twelve international countries.

Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares® the philanthropic arm of Panda Express, has raised more than $282 million and dedicated countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 13 million youths, as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2020, the organization established the Panda Cares Scholars Program to provide the necessary funding, – academic support and leadership development to help high school and college students learn, lead and thrive towards a bright future. For more information, visit pandaexpress.com or pandacares.org.