GapBuster, Inc. Montgomery County Branch Grand Re-Opening

GapBuster, Inc. Montgomery County Branch Grand Re-Opening

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Guest Speaker Honorable Catherine Leggett

Screenshot 2015-01-10 16.09.08

SILVER SPRING, MD – Join us Saturday, January 17 – GapBuster, Inc., also known as GapBuster Learning Center, has re-established a Montgomery County, Maryland office in the Silver Spring United Methodist Church located at 31 University Blvd, East, Silver Spring, MD 20901 and will celebrate its grand re-opening. Please join us along with our guest speaker Honorable Catherine Leggett in a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of our facility on Saturday, January 17 at 4:00PM.

In 2009, GapBuster, Inc. was forced to relocate all of their Montgomery County, MD services into school sites such Wheaton High School and Sligo Middle School. It was an acceptable move, but services were not open to all students due to the school hours and locations. Additionally, the move limited GapBuster’s ability from offering evening and weekend programming. Now with the new location, GapBuster can again provide after-school, weekend, and alternative programs, servicing youth in 6th through 12th grades. photo 1

Founded in 1999 by Yvette Butler, MD and obtained non-profit status in 2001, GapBuster, Inc. is committed to raising the academic standard and promoting higher levels of achievement for socio-economically disadvantaged students.  Through supplemental education, enrichment programs, and leadership development training, GapBuster develops well-rounded individuals positioned to excel in academic, social, and professional environments.

GapBuster, Inc. is an educational program dedicated to promoting higher levels of achievement and closing the performance gap of students by enriching and supplementing their learning experience. The services began as a home-based volunteer program to assist youth in mathematics; GapBuster, Inc. has now served over 5,000 individuals and offers an array of youth development, prevention, and continuing education services to the most at-risk population in the community.

Again join friends, supporters and our First Lady of Montgomery County Maryland, Catherine Leggett, on Saturday, January 17 at 4:00 pm in welcoming GapBuster’s “Developing Leaders for the Next Generation.”

For more information, please visit or call 301-779-4252

GapBuster Needs Your Help!

GapBuster has been selected by Aetna Voices of Health to win up to $30,000 because we have created a great program that integrates health and fitness. We can win, but only with your help and ALL your friends, family, and associates help.

Go to for more!

This year, users who sign in with their email address can cast a total of 5 votes for GapBuster.
Users who sign in via their favorite social network are allowed to post 1 vote per day, every day until voting ends.
You could potentially cast up to 27 votes for your favorite agency if you sign in with your favorite social network!
Our URL to access our page directly, and to vote for your organization is: 


Click this link NOW and cast your first 5 votes!


GapBuster STEAM Camp Final Week: Ten80

GapBuster STEAM Camp: Ten80

GAPBUSTER, INC. “Building Scholars for the Future”

Riverdale, MD.  – With classroom tables restructured, students grouped, the afternoon Ten80 elective in the GapBuster STEAM Summer camp holds different scenery than the beginning weeks. As coaches assist students transitioning from one team to another, diverse teams meticulously work on their separate assignments from business planning, public relation and to the mechanical aspect of their Ten80.   The National STEM league project based learning method of Ten80 Education has been structured to fit the six week program of  GapBuster summer camp  with  central focus on imparting  real world application  and STEAM knowledge.

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With one more week remaining students submit their assignments and expand on their research to build on their Ten80 STEAM points.  Six teams have been utilizing all their knowledge through integrations of other subjects in math, science, and language arts to build their critical thinking and their all around cross curriculum knowledge.

photo 3Students have been working with the former Ten80 participant, Soulihe Nida and Engineering Major Travon McMillian. Ten80 class has been receiving professional help in business planning and public relation from CEO & Chief Strategist of KSG Strategic Consulting, Kesi Stribling.  Students have executed their strategic approach in promoting their teams and public presentation. GapBuster Ten80 teams Black Diamond Engineering and All Star engineering have been able to receive the gracious sponsorship of The Coleman’s Group as result of their excellent progress and their originality in strategic public relation approach. All teams have focused on being all around in their project based education with understanding of project management and team collaboration. The GapBuster Ten80 teams are excited and look forward to Saturday’s STEAM Ten80 Competition and more importantly to the 2014-2015 Ten80 Education Competition.

Friday, August 15 – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Closing Ceremony
Saturday, August 16 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ten80 Race Car Challenge
GapBuster, Inc. invites you to the S.T.E.A.M. Camp Closing Ceremony and
Ten80 Race Car Challenge.
Come celebrate the knowledge, talent, and creativity of our youth. Learn how our
summer camp incorporated all five components of S.T.E.A.M.(Science, Technology,Engineering, Art, and Mathematics).

6200 Sheridan Street.
Riverdale, MD 20737



First weeks of Ten80 at STE(A)M Summer Camp, an account

By Soulihe Nida


Students sat in class, mesmerized by the board. With pensive expressions, they raised their hands one by one to answer the questions of Ten80 instructor Soulihe Nida along with Engineering Instructional Assistants Sahan De Alwis and Travon McMillian. Students laughed as they engaged in fun activities to teach them critical thinking and the most significant parts of teamwork.

The first weeks were filled with small exercises to introduce the approximately forty students to one another. They were taught the beginnings of Ten80 curriculum, how it relates to the professional world, and molded their minds to be problem solvers by utilizing all their STEAM skills. Students collaborated through small exercises to understand their personal skill sets.

“The first two weeks, the students were focused on understanding the strengths and their weakness, and teaching them organization,” explained University of Maryland student Sahan De Alwis. “That way, students would know their choices in certain tasks, kids with technical skills would be tasked differently from others, while kids with leadership skills would take on a different responsibility.”

Students went through rules for brainstorming, engineering design process and defining constraints to a project.

“I’ve been able to learn how to look at things differently and think outside the box,” explained 8th grade student Destiny Dureke from College Park Academy.

The student learned the sources of energy and are planning to create a solar powered oven. Students utilize a NASCAR hot wheels set to design a track and run a small electromagnetic powered car.

“I learned to try being creative and original,” said Kimali Brown, a rising 9th grader at Bladensburg High School.

With all the fun, students understand the foundation of Ten80 as being able to cooperate with not only team members but coaches, as they work in a team-oriented atmosphere through race engineering where they learn problem solving fundamentals, how to market their team and how to optimize the mechanical systems of a remote-control car.

Students learn the skills to thrive as professionals through a project based education within National STEM League.

Meet Damian Bess, Montgomery Blair junior and new LULAC National Vice President for the Youth of the Northeastern Region!

damian bessGapBuster intern Daniela Velasquez spoke with Montgomery Blair High School Junior and LULAC member Damian Bess about his involvement in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), his recations to his election of National Vice President of the Youth for the Northeast Region, and some of his plans and aspirations.

DV: How did you first get involved with LULAC?

DB: I got involved with LULAC through flyers posted throughout Blair High School. With the encouragement of my family I joined LULAC.

DV: What was your first conference experience like? Did you expect to have a held a national position so quickly?

DB: The first conference I went to was great! The seminars were full of relevant, inspirational information beneficial to almost everyone. Lessons were learned that could not be learned in a classroom. Not to mention I became the new National VP of the Northeastern Region! With the New York conference being the first conference I’ve been to, I was new to the concept of having a position on the youth board. The opportunity to be on the board was there so with the help of my council, I took the opportunity. It’s definitely going to be a learning experience for me.

DV: Are you involved with any other school activities?

DB: I just recently joined the Student Government Association and hope to obtain an executive position my senior year.

DV: What are your career goals?

DB: My first goal is to progress through high school and determine my major to narrow down possible career paths.


Congratulations, Damian!

Spotlight on: GapBuster alum and STEAM Instructional assistant Roland White

20140516_154704Roland White is a Maryland native and member of the GapBuster STE(A)M team, acting as an Instructional Assistant.

Roland is a rising senior at Morehouse College and experienced GapBuster for the first time on a California college tour when he was a junior at Bishop Mcnamara High School, from which he graduated cum laude in 2011. He has rejoined GapBuster for the summer program and says he feels inspired by the mission of the organization and the passion of its Executive Director.

GapBuster is “phenomenal,” said Roland, who descrobes his love for kids as a reason for coming aboard. “[The students are] funny, vibrant, learning…there’s something special about that. It’s humbling.”

At Morehouse College, Roland is a Spanish / Political Science double major with a passion for music. He is also committed to sevice, because as he puts it “that’s why we’re here. We’re here to serve.” He describes Morehouse as a unique experience because it is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University).

Roland is weighing his options as graduation at Morehouse looms. Law school, graduate studies, international ambitions…Roland White is grounded in his community and headed for great things.

Spotlight on: GapBuster alum and STEAM teaching assistant Taylor McTootle

Taylor McTootle has recently joined the GapBuster family for the summer as a teaching assistant and coordinator for the 2014 school year. Taylor was involved with GapBuster during her middle school years, particpating in programs such as HIV/AIDS Peer Education and leadership development.

Taylor was born in DC and grew up in Metro Maryland, attending and obtaining a degree from Holton-Arms high school in Bethesda in 2010. She developed an interest in travel in high school when she journeyed to West Africa as part of a high school Global Education program. Taylor participated in community service and still values service to this day.

After graduation from high school, Taylor attended Spelman College in Atlanta, graduating in 2014 with a degree in International Studies with a focus in Development. During her college years, Taylor traveled to the Dominican Republic and Spain on study abroad programs.

Ultimately, Taylor would like to be an educator, ideally for middle and high school-aged students, though she is considering pursuing graduate study.

Taylor is interested in dance (having studied ballet and modern), chess, which she tutors, and reading.

Ford and LULAC Deliver $10,000 to Empower Latino Students in Silver Spring

Dr Butler Ford driving dreams

Joedis Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Dr. Yvette Butler, Director, LULAC Council in Silver Spring, Maryland and Founder of GapBuster Learning Center. Photo: Robert Figueroa

• Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens announce 2014 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grant winners

• Winning LULAC Councils #21006 in Silver Spring, Maryland, receives grant to continue high school dropout prevention programs

• Ford Driving Dreams has invested more than $1 million and assisted more than 1,000 students and 44 LULAC councils across the country since its 2010 launch

New York, July 11, 2014 – Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today announced the 2014 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grantees, as they work together to reduce the high school dropout rate among Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of public schools.

Eight LULAC councils around the country will each receive a $20,000 grant over two school years to implement a high school dropout prevention program in partnership with an educational entity. Additionally, two 2012 grantee recipients were selected to receive a $10,000 grant to continue their programs. All council grantee recipients were announced at LULAC’s 85th Annual National Convention in New York City.

“Education has been a top priority for Ford Fund since its start more than 60 years ago,” said Joedis Avila, manager of community outreach, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “For the fifth consecutive year, Ford Driving Dreams Through Education will continue to make a life-changing impact on our young people and ensure that they have the education necessary to compete in our global economy.”

LULAC Council #21006 in Silver Spring, Maryland, was selected to receive a $10,000 grant to continue their program with Ford support for an additional school year given their success. Council #21006 partnered with GapBuster, a volunteer-based program that has helped more than 2,000 students in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland reach their academic dreams since 1999. This new grant is to expand the Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program to 30 students from 9th grade at High Point and Parkdale High School students. The LIT program supplements the academic needs of at-risk and/or potential gang involved minorities through a LifeSkills curriculum, a research-validated substance abuse prevention program to reduce the risk of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse.

“We are proud to receive a renewal grant of $10,000 from Ford Driving Dreams. This grant demonstrates confidence in our work to address the dropout rate among Hispanic students,” said Dr. Yvette Butler, President of the LULAC Council #21006 in Silver Spring, Maryland. “We have a lot of work to do to help our children achieve academic success. In Maryland, only 72 percent of Hispanic students enrolled in public high schools graduate on time. With Ford Driving Dreams support, we have been able to make a positive impact in our community. In addition, funds from Ford Driving Dreams has allowed us to leverage the opportunity to become a 21st Century Community Learning Center.”

A recent study from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) from 2014 indicates that while high school dropout rates are decreasing and college enrollment is increasing for Hispanics, Hispanic youth continue to lag behind white youth in both measures. According to NCES, Hispanic students are the fastest-growing segment of the public school population; nearly one in four students is Hispanic and more than 12 percent of them drop out of high school. Given that Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population and are expected to more than double from 53.3 million to 128.8 million by 2060, their educational development is essential to our nation’s growth and success.

Ford Driving Dreams Through Education started in 2010, and to date 44 grant recipients have worked to keep more than 1,000 students on the road to graduation. The grant selection process considers the best practices for engaging students, including mentorship programs, after-school volunteer and extracurricular programs, and parental involvement. The winning programs also must be sustainable, reflect the local education landscape, and rely on partnerships with local education institutions. The eight new LULAC council grantee recipients will begin to implement their programs this fall, and the two model councils will continue their existing programs with Ford support for one additional school-year. For more information on Ford Driving Dreams, visit

GapBuster forges ahead with STE(A)M Summer camp

GapBuster has brought new staff into our STE(A)M program this summer! Because of the breadth of subjects and number of electives, we have added some great people to our team. Below is the curriculum that we are adapting for the program.

Summer camp academic and electives:

Academic classes:


Language Arts (English)



Physical activity occurs every day during lunchtime.


Elective classes: Students have 2 elective classes from the choices below. Classes rotate every other day for maximum exposure.

Ten80 Education


Mural Art





On the 6 Fridays from 7/11 to 8/15 there are optional field trips in the Metro DC area and the District itself.