Yesterday we were very happy to make a big announcement – we are providing an additional $150,000 to programs in our community for 2011. (See photos from the announcement here.) This funding is on top of the $4 million in program investments already made this year to improve the local community. The three programs to receive funding are housed at the Belle Center, the International Institute of Buffalo, and Hillside Work-Scholarship connection.

The Belle Center provides educational, recreational and social services for children and youth. The center will receive $54,000 under our Education platform to support programs designed to make sure youths are prepared for higher education, trade education, and work after graduation.

The International Institute of Buffalo’s Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Victim Services was awarded $46,000 under our Health and Wellness platform. The program provides immigrant victims of trafficking and partner violence with comprehensive services that take account their individual, cultural and linguistic challenges.

The last organization to receive funding is Hillside Work Scholarship Connection, which will receive $50,000 under the Education platform. This program is a nationally recognized youth development program at South Park High School that has proven to increase graduation rates and decrease the risk of youths dropping out. The program connects South Park students to a full-time school-based Youth Advocate, employment training, college prep support, and tutoring services, while helping youth earn their high school diplomas.

We couldn’t make an investment like this without your support – thank you for all you have done for us and for our community. We are proud to be able to increase our 2011 funding!

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