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First Niagara Foundation: $175,000 in grant funding for Western New York youth mentoring programs


Thu, Oct 8th 2015 03:50 pm

Regional bank's 2015 "Mentoring Matters program" will provide support for 9 Western New York agencies, totaling $175,000

The First Niagara Foundation is providing $1 million in grant funding across its regional footprint to fund youth mentoring programs. Such programs provide young people with vital support, hope, opportunity and the reassurance there are adults who care for them and are willing to help them through life's daily challenges, organizers said.

The regional banking and financial services company announced that, in Western New York, nine not-for-profit agencies will receive a total of $175,000 in funding to be awarded through First Niagara's "Mentoring Matters" signature grant program.

"First Niagara is proud of our commitment to empowering young people to create brighter futures for themselves through meaningful relationships with positive role models," said Elizabeth Gurney, executive director of the First Niagara Foundation. "Our grant program is further enhanced by the generous volunteer efforts of our employees, who volunteer their time and talents to youth in their local communities. We have seen first-hand the difference mentors make by enhancing a child's self-esteem, providing critical guidance and being a trusted resource and source of support."

"First Niagara's investment continues to strengthen and enhance communities across Western New York. We're honored to be a grant recipient and look forward to changing lives for the better and empowering our young people to reach their full potential, thanks to First Niagara's generous support," said Marcia O'Neil-White, executive director of Buffalo Prep.

Recipients of First Niagara's 2015 Mentoring Matters grants in the Western New York region are:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns of WNY, Buffalo
  • Compeer of Greater Buffalo Inc., Buffalo
  • Buffalo Prep Inc., Buffalo
  • Junior Achievement of Western New York, Buffalo
  • Seneca Street Community Development Corp., Buffalo
  • Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County Inc., Lockport
  • Hillside Work - Scholarship Connection Inc., Buffalo
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Inc., Buffalo
  • Be a Friend Program Inc., Buffalo

Including these awards, First Niagara has provided more than $7.25 million in financial support for mentoring programs in all the communities it serves 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.

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