Umoja Robotics team poised for World Championship

African Canadian Christian Network Appeals for Donations to Send Award-Winning Team to Houston

The African Canadian Christian Network (ACCN), a cornerstone for empowering Black youth in Toronto, has issued an urgent appeal to the community. The organization seeks support to send the Umoja Robotics team to the prestigious FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas, from April 17th to April 20th, 2024.

Umoja Robotics Team

The Umoja Robotics team, composed of talented youth from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), has recently clinched the Impact Award at both the district level and the Provincial Championships. The FIRST Impact Award is a testament to a team that exemplifies the mission of FIRST Robotics by inspiring respect and honor for science and technology and motivating more youth to become leaders in these fields.

The expenses linked to such high-level competitions can be daunting, encompassing parts, tools, and hefty registration fees. ACCN has maintained a policy of not charging students to participate in its programs, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder the involvement of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.

“This is more than a competition; it’s a pivotal moment in the academic and personal development of our students,” remarked ACCN Board Chair, Pastor Alvin Nicholson. He emphasized that contributions from the community would not only support the team’s journey but also bolster ACCN’s broader mission to foster diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

Cherryl Lewis, ACCN Executive Director and lead mentor of Umoja Robotics, highlighted the significant impact of the program on its participants. “Our students, despite systemic challenges, have shown remarkable dedication to their education and communities,” Lewis said. She shared that all members of the Umoja Robotics team pursue post-secondary education, with 98% focusing on STEM-related fields, and actively engage in community service such as teaching technology to seniors and mentoring other students.

The Umoja Robotics team’s story is a powerful narrative of overcoming obstacles and striving for excellence in a field where representation is crucial. Through their participation in robotics, these students develop essential skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and resilience.

To ensure the team can seize this incredible opportunity, ACCN is inviting donations through various means: checks payable to ACCN, e-transfers to, or contributions via their GoFundMe page. The organization will issue tax receipts for donations exceeding $20.

For those interested in supporting or learning more about this initiative, contact details are available for further inquiries. Cherryl Lewis can be reached at 416-930-5683 or via email at

ACCN continues its mission of nurturing promise and harvesting potential among Black youth, ensuring equitable opportunities and supporting their journey to becoming the next generation of leaders and innovators in STEM.