The First Niagara Foundation and the Baird Foundation are providing the funding for a new van for Baker Victory Services' "Work Appreciation for Youth" program. The van will be used to transport WAY students to worksites across the area, including The Foundry, where they are learning skills in building and construction - as well as the Catering Your WAY food service enterprise.
Msgr. Paul Burkard, president and chair of the Our Lady of Victory Institutions, blessed and dedicated the van Monday, surrounded by representatives from First Niagara, the Baird Foundation as well as students and staff from Baker Victory Services.
"We're very grateful for this support," he said. "Our WAY Students work in multiple locations around Erie County and, thanks to First Niagara and Baird, they'll have a much easier time getting from place to place."
The van was paid for by a $15,000 grant from the First Niagara Foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Baird Foundation. The WAY Program at Baker Victory Services provides training and job skills students can use to find employment outside the organization.
"First Niagara is committed to investing in our youth and providing the resources necessary to teach them the skills they need to succeed," said Elizabeth Gurney, executive director of the First Niagara Foundation. "We are proud to support Baker Victory Services and help all of our young people have opportunities to do great things."
"We are thrilled to partner with First Niagara to help provide transportation for the young people of Baker Victory Services and provide access to opportunities that will help them achieve their full potential," said Robert J.A. Irwin, trustee of The Baird Foundation.
Pictured: Sharon Cavanaugh, program director of Baker Victory Services Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) program; Megan McNally, executive director, The Foundry; Elizabeth Gurney, executive director, First Niagara Foundation; Catherine Schweitzer, executive director of the Baird Foundation; Msgr. Paul Burkard, president and chair of the Our Lady of Victory Institutions; Richard Heist, executive director of Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity; Terese Scofidio, CEO, Baker Victory Services; Art Cryer, senior vice president, First Niagara risk management and Baird Foundation trustee; and three WAY students.