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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Gonzaga Gets $5,000 Grant for Work with Youth|
Gonzaga University’s Center for Community Action and Service Learning received a $5,000 grant from Washington State Mentors and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation on Wednesday (Oct. 28) in a ceremony at the Crosby Alumni House at Gonzaga.
Gonzaga is among 14 organizations statewide that received grants totaling $75,000 from WSM and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen and Bank of America’s representative Kurt Walsdorf hosted the public celebration in Gonzaga’s honor. The mentoring initiative is funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and administered by WSM.
“This partnership is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when corporations and nonprofits join forces to support young people,” said Owen, co-chair of the Issaquah-based nonprofit. “These grants are awarded to outstanding mentoring organizations that are serving youth living in poverty all across Washington state.”
Peter Joers, Washington president for Bank of America, said the current challenging economic times are especially difficult for young people with limited financial and leadership resources.
“Through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, we are pleased to be working with community partners like WSM, to make a meaningful impact on the future of Washington’s youth through mentoring,” Joers said. “We recognize that mentoring can have immediate and transformative effects on a young person’s future, as well as the overall vitality of the communities in which they live, attend school and work.”
Through the Bank of America Mentoring Initiative, more than $300,000 has funded 58 mentoring programs across Washington state since 2006. During four years, the Bank of America Mentoring Initiative’s grantees have mentored more than 7,000 children, many in small and rural communities where funding can be scarce, said WSM President Jim Marsh.
Mentoring is a vital and effective way to help youth overcome obstacles in their lives. Youth with mentors have fewer instances of violence and substance abuse, and increased emotional well-being and academic performance than youth without mentors. In Washington, almost 200 organizations work with 30,000 youth in formal one-to-one or small-group mentoring relationships.
Bank of America Mentoring Initiative grantees are selected through a competitive grant process. To apply for a Bank of America Mentoring Initiative grant, organizations have to meet a set of minimum quality assurance standards including background checks for all volunteer mentors, and adherence to at least 70 percent of the Elements of Effective Practice for mentoring programs. Additionally, at least 51 percent of the youth served by the mentoring program must be from low- to moderate-income households.
Bank of America this year embarked on a new, 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions.
For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit its Web site.