Find your passion! That is the rallying cry of Passion for Learning, which strives to close the academic achievement gap through dynamic digital learning programs for students in some of the lowest income census tracts in Montgomery County. Focused on the pivotal middle school years, P4L’s after-school programs engage and excite over 150 students each year – and help them develop 21st century skills that prepare them for high school, college, and beyond. GRRL Tech (Girls Really, Really Love Technology) sparks girls’ interest and builds knowledge in career paths where they are traditionally underrepresented, while Games.Inc combines video game design with essential literacy skills. The popular Dig.Lit program introduces youth to the vast and growing digital communications industry, with projects in infographics, web design, computer coding, video shorts, and animation. Each summer, Go2College camp takes everything to the next level, helping 40 students (and their parents) develop education plans and explore college campuses. All programs are free of charge. With your help, even more kids can find their passions – and their future careers.

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 (FY2015)

  • $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.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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