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ESL Awards $5.7 Million in Grants During Second Quarter of 2023 to Nonprofit Organizations in the Greater Rochester Region

The 135 grants will help support organizations that provide critical services and programs for individuals and families throughout the community.

Rochester, NY — In the second quarter of 2023, ESL awarded 135 grants for a total of $5.7 million to local organizations that provide critical services and programs to individuals and families.

“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, executive vice president and director, human resource and community impact, ESL Federal Credit Union. “The critical programs and work done by the grantees is helping to build the healthy, resilient, and equitable community we envision.”

The ESL Community Impact team reinvests in the community through philanthropic grants aligned with three areas of focus: expanding individual opportunity through quality education and employment, building strong neighborhoods that are affordable and connected, and strengthening organizations. The team also works to share stories that highlight the organizations and people doing this important, benevolent work in the community.

“ESL is a grant funder that values trust-based philanthropy and prioritizes building genuine relationships with grantees, which has allowed for effective collaboration and communication in addressing community needs,” said Shawna Gareau-Kurtz, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center for Workforce Development Director. “Their 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.”

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.

Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center for Workforce Development

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 - $2,500.00
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.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With more than 100 years of locally owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 400,000 members and 15,500 businesses. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services, and wealth management services through its locally based 24-branch network; telephone, mobile and online banking; and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs approximately 900 people in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $9 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 28 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members totaling more than $265 million. Since the creation of its Community Impact initiative in 2018, ESL has reinvested more than $100 million in grants throughout the community. The company has appeared on Great Place to Work® lists since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found online at

For more information, contact:

Rich Pulvino, APR
VP/Director, Marketing