Panda Express

(Panda Cares Foundation)

Panda Cares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Panda Express has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to foster academic success in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

Panda Cares

With the reality that not all youth have access to quality education, Panda Cares partners with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create opportunities for kids and teens to learn, lead and thrive, with a focus on increasing the quality of academic success programming in Clubs. This partnership empowers thousands of kids and teens at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to excel in school and build their character and leadership.

Since 2020, Panda Cares has committed more than $42 million in support to enhance academic programming, support Project Learn, and establish Panda Cares Centers of Hope in Boys & Girls Club across the country.

With a shared commitment to help more youth reach their full academic potential through learning initiatives that are responsive to the unique needs of each Club member, Panda Cares’ generous support provides funding to support high-quality, in-person learning opportunities for more than 600 Boys & Girls Clubs annually.

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Project Learn

Project Learn is the co-branded platform that unites each Center of Hope and fosters learning, character development and, ultimately, career access. 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.

To keep Club members safe, supported and learning, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Panda Cares is scaling Project Learn to support academic success, reinforcing and enhancing what youth learn during the school day while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning.

Center of Hope

In 2022, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, together with Panda Cares, launched Panda Cares Centers of Hope in local Clubs across the country. Each Center of Hope serves as a multi-functional, multi-purpose space that brings to life the values of Boys & Girls Clubs and Panda Cares by creating a safe space that encourages each Club member to dream big, reenergize, express their emerging identities, and fuel their educational passions.

Through a $45,000 grant each Club refreshes a room in their Club to be named the Panda Cares Center of Hope and adopts or enhances policies, practices, programs, and professional development into their program model, to ensure the greatest success outcome:

  • Integrating programs, through Project Learn, that spark joy and fun while supporting the academic outcomes of youth
  • Utilizing relationship-centered practices that support youth’s individual needs and creates a sense of belonging, allowing Club members to dream big
  • Providing professional development opportunities for all staff to enhance best practices for interacting with youth and providing the best Club experience possible
  • Evaluating and improving academic outcomes by establishing and maintaining strong Continuous Quality Improvement practices

The first Center of Hope opened in May 2022 at CC’s Little Village Boys & Girls Club in Chicago. Panda Cares and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have a shared goal of opening 35 Centers of Hope a year for 10 years – giving 350 Clubs and over 20,000 youth access to these new spaces to help foster their academic success and support them on their path towards a great future.

By the end of 2023, the partners will have opened 70 Panda Cares Centers of Hope nationwide, providing positive spaces for youth to learn and grow.

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Panda Cares Day

Panda Cares observes its anniversary on August 8th, also known as Panda Cares Day, with a celebration of giving back. Each year, throughout the month of August, Panda associates across the country bring joy to youth nationwide through the gifts of health and education.

Boys & Girls Clubs celebrate by hosting events at local Clubs, with yummy meals, fun games, books, activities, and fun Panda swag provided by their local Panda Express! Since 2022 Panda Cares has expanded the celebration with Boys & Girls Clubs hosting a virtual fundraiser on August 8th providing Boys & Girls Clubs with additional support for academic programming.

About Panda Express®

On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express®, the largest Asian dining concept in the US. 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 is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,500 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to 12 international countries. Powered by a global family of associates, Panda Cares®, Panda's philanthropic arm, has raised more than $329 million and has dedicated countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 15 million youth, as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2021, Panda Express established the Panda CommUnity Fund — a five-year, $10 million community investment and response program that supports immediate and sustainable solutions from national and local organizations to uplift diverse groups, including people of color and other marginalized communities. For more information about Panda, visit, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.