BUFFALO, N.Y., October 28, 2013 –
The First Niagara Foundation is donating $1.0 million to fund youth mentoring
programs designed to help close the achievement gap, help children improve
school attendance and performance, prevent substance abuse and behavioral
problems, and give at risk youth a chance to reach their full potential.
The regional banking and financial
services company today announced the 33 nonprofit organizations across its
regional footprint that will share the $1.0 million award through First
Niagara’s Mentoring Matters signature grant program.
“Mentoring matters because it can
change a young person’s life for the better.
Proven results include better grades and behavior - and improved school
attendance, all of which lead to a brighter future,” said Gary Crosby, Interim
President and CEO of First Niagara. “Our
Mentoring Matters signature grant program enables us to collaborate with
proven, results-oriented mentoring organizations across our footprint that do
great things each and every day.”
Including today’s awards, First
Niagara has provided more than $5.25 million in financial support for mentoring
programs since the program’s inception in 2007.
Additionally, First Niagara team members are encouraged to volunteer
with mentoring initiatives in their communities across New York, Pennsylvania,
Connecticut and Massachusetts.
“First Niagara is committed to
supporting organizations that enrich our communities, specifically in the areas
of mentoring, youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization,”
said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation. “We are proud to collaborate with
outstanding community partners with a mutual goal of improving lives and empowering
our communities to thrive.”
“First Niagara’s support and
advocacy through Mentoring Matters has helped mentoring providers reach thousands
of young people,” said Thomas Guagliardo , CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of
Erie County, which was one of today’s grant recipients. “Serving as a mentor involves sharing one’s
time, expertise and life experiences, and is an incredibly rewarding and
powerful way to volunteer.”
In making grant decisions, First
Niagara evaluates specific community needs along with program metrics and
outcomes. The $1.0 million investment in this year’s 33 community-based recipient
organizations will directly support more than 45,000 youth participants in
proven mentoring programs.
Recipients of First Niagara’s 2013
Mentoring Matters grants are:
Boys & Girls Clubs of the
Northtowns of WNY, Buffalo, N.Y.
Compeer of Greater Buffalo Inc., Buffalo,
Buffalo Prep Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.
Junior Achievement of Western New
York, Buffalo, N.Y.
Seneca Street Community Development
Corp., Buffalo, N.Y.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara
County, Inc., Lockport, N.Y.
Hillside Work – Scholarship
Connection Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie
County, Buffalo, N.Y.
Monroe Community College: World of Inquiry School #58 Partnership,
Junior Achievement: World of Inquiry School #58 Partnership,
St. John Fisher College: World of Inquiry School #58 Partnership,
Booker T. Washington Community
Center Of Auburn, N.Y.
YWCA of Cortland, Cortland, N.Y.
On Point for College, Utica, N.Y.
Samaritan Counseling Center of the
Southern Tier Inc., Endicott, N.Y.
CNY Community Foundation Inc. (Say
Yes Syracuse), Syracuse, N.Y.
Junior Achievement of Northeastern
New York, Latham, N.Y.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the
Capital Region, Albany, N.Y.
Northeast Parent & Child
Society, Schenectady, N.Y.
Clearview Center/Equinox Inc., Albany,
Girls Incorporated of the Greater
Capital Region, Schenectady, N.Y.
YMCA of the Capital District (Black
& Latinos Achievers), Albany, N.Y.
WMHT Educational Telecommunications
Inc., Schenectady, N.Y.
YWCA White Plains & Central
Westchester Inc., White Plains, N.Y.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland
County, New City, N.Y.
Nyack Center, Nyack, N.Y.
United Way of Allegheny County: Be a 6th Grade Mentor,
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, P.A.
Junior Achievement of Southwest New
England, Norwalk, CT
Junior Achievement of Southwest
Connecticut, Hartford, CT
The Governor’s Prevention
Partnership, Wethersfield, CT
Mass Mentoring Partnership Inc.,
Mentoring Matters is First Niagara’s
charitable giving program that provides monetary and employee volunteer support
to organized mentoring initiatives. Established by the company in 2007, Mentoring Matters reinforces the
importance of mentoring and the positive impact that it has on today’s young
adults. In 2009, First Niagara expanded
the reach and impact of Mentoring Matters by launching its annual Day of Mentoring,
offering young people the opportunity to spend a day with First Niagara
volunteers to learn about financial literacy, work place awareness and enhanced
The First Niagara Foundation
Niagara Foundation is a not for profit corporation founded in 1998. The Foundation is committed to supporting
organizations in the communities in which we live and work with specific focus
on youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization. In 2012 the Foundation contributed more than
$10 million in charitable grants to community partners. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com/community.
First Niagara, through its wholly owned
subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank
with approximately 420 branches, $37 billion in assets, $27 billion in deposits,
and approximately 5,800 employees providing financial services to individuals,
families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and