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Greater Rochester Non-profit Agencies Receive $5.7 Million in ESL Grant Funding


ESL Federal Credit Union (ESL) awarded 135 grants in the second quarter of 2023 totaling $5.7 million to local organizations that provide essential services and programs for Rochester’s families and individuals.


“It is vital for us to support our community partners and the people they serve in order to help our community thrive and prosper,” said Maureen Wolfe, ESL’s executive vice president and director of human resource and community impact “The critical programs and work done by the grantees is helping to build the healthy, resilient, and equitable community we envision.”


Following is a partial list of local ESL grant awardees:


Organization: Department of Pediatrics (Fiduciary: University of Rochester)


Project Title: School Based Access to Behavioral Health and Medical Care for All Rochester City School District Students - $1,200,000

A community-wide collaborative initiative to establish advanced telehealth medicine at all schools in the Rochester City School District and school-based mental health clinics. The partnership among the RCSD, Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester Regional Health, and community health centers aims to provide accessible healthcare services to students during the school day within the next four years to help improve healthcare and mental health.


Organization: Wayne County Action Program Inc.


Project Title: STEADY Work for Wayne County Youth Expansion Program - $950,000

STEADY Work is a paid work-study program for 14-24-year-olds in Wayne County. Its main purpose is to re-engage at-risk youth with school and their community, as well as to provide them with the skills and support to maintain long-term employment in a career of their choice. Participants are also provided with academic support, mentoring, behavioral and mental health support, transportation, access to basic health care, financial literacy education, and individualized case management that follows them post-graduation from the program to ensure long-term career engagement.


Organization: Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES


Project Title: Redesigning Adult CTE Programs for Quality & Sustainability - $200,000

The Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is using the foundation grant to improve their career training programs. There has been a shift from full-time adult career training programs due to the necessity to earn a wage while developing skills. CWD is focused on developing robust, part-time programs that will allow for career preparation and employment.


Organization: Center for Community Alternatives


Project Title: Reentry Advocacy Collaboration - $120,715

The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) serves people in difficult situations: youth at risk, families in crisis, people struggling to address substance use disorders, and people living with HIV and AIDS. The individuals served by CCA are among the most impoverished and disempowered in our society. CCA provides a variety of services, including court advocacy, youth services, peer recovery services, and reentry advocacy to create equity by assisting people with criminal records to access opportunities for civic engagement including employment, housing, and education.


Organization: GLOW Young Men's Christian Association Inc.


Project Title: GLOW Summer Camps - $70,000

GLOW Summer Camps provide enriching experiences during the summer months for the educational and spiritual growth of young people ages 3-15. The camps are designed to encourage participants to gain an understanding and appreciation of their community, their natural environment, and their spirit through non-denominational programs.


Organization: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra


Project Title: RPO 2023 Education Programming - $30,000

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Education Programs intend to address the lingering challenges from the pandemic by bringing impactful, inspiring, and educational musical programming to tens of thousands of students in 2023.


Organization: Geneva Light Opera Inc


Project Title: Elixir of Love - $5,000

Geneva Light Opera creates programs to educate, inspire and entertain audiences in the Finger Lakes region by presenting opera and operetta in high quality productions through collaboration of emerging young performers, local professionals, and nationally known artists. These efforts include the entire community.

Organization: 19th Ward Community Association of Rochester


Project Title: 19th Ward Annual Square Fair - $2,500

The 19th Ward Community Association of Rochester aims to improve the quality of life for all 19th Ward residents by building community among neighbors, institutions, and businesses, and provide support and collaboration on events and programs. The Annual Square Fair supports community building by hosting the fair for new and current residents to help them learn about the area and each other, while also providing a place for businesses to connect with new and current customers.


“[ESL’s] flexibility and responsiveness have resulted in a meaningful and lasting impact on their programs, making it an inspiring experience to partner with an organization striving to make a difference in the community,” said Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center for Workforce Development Director Shawna Gareau-Kurtz. “[ESL] values trust-based philanthropy and prioritizes building genuine relationships with grantees, which has allowed for effective collaboration and communication in addressing community needs.”

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