Brendaliz Cepeda’s grandfather was well known in Puerto Rico as the patriarch of Bomba music, and she wanted to have a place where she could keep this tradition alive here in the U.S. She and her co-founder, Saul Penaloza decided to launch Multicultural Learning Center, an afterschool program that teaches kids about Puerto Rico culture and folklore through arts and dance.  

She learned about the Accelerator through the local Holyoke Executive Director several years ago but wasn’t in a position to apply until the summer of 2020. Her chief goal was to learn how to put a proposal and program structure together to start offering it to local schools.

Her favorite part of the EforAll program was the relationships she built with her cohort and mentors and how they supported and learned from each other. “EforAll had opened so many doors for me. They connected me with people from the community that helped me connect with schools.”

Today the Multicultural Learning Center is reaching all the business goals that it has set for itself. It has six contracts with schools, is almost LLC certified, and is currently adding a new African cultural program.

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