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ESL Awards $8.8 Million in Grants During First Quarter of 2023 to Nonprofit Organizations in the Greater Rochester Region

The 119 grants will help support organizations that provide critical services and programs for children, youth, individuals, and families throughout the community.

Rochester, NY — In the first quarter of 2023, ESL awarded 119 grants for a total of $8,820,946 to local organizations that provide critical services and programs to individuals and families.

“At ESL we are committed to helping our community thrive and prosper and a key way we live up to that is to support nonprofit organizations that work to lift people up to achieve their goals,” said Ajamu Kitwana, vice president and director of Community Impact. “These organizations are helping to improve the quality of life for thousands, and we look forward to the results that will come from their hard work.”

The Clyde-Savannah Central School District, with more than 700 students in grades K-12, will be able to continue its popular afterschool program, Growing and Thriving Outside of School.

“ESL's impact upon Wayne County is immeasurable. ESL's generous funding and continued collaboration daily lifts our way of life; more families now live in safe and warm homes, young at-risk adults have self-sustaining work and career skills, youth across the county are more resilient to poverty, trauma, and stress, our children have safe havens in outside of school time programming, literacy rates have increased amongst our youth and adults, and we have been able to reduce equity gaps,” said Mark Miller, Finger Lakes Community Action, Community Schools Sustainability Specialist, “ESL helped us learn how to better leverage our resources, work collaboratively, and make our rural community a place where we can thrive."

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.

A sample of the organizations that received grant commitments from ESL include:

Organization: Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation ($400,000)
Project Title: HOME Rochester and Make Monroe Home 2023 will support ten properties, help reduce the vacant housing stock, convert low quality single-family structures into high quality homes, and make homeownership available to low- and moderate-income qualified families. Homes in the Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation programs remain affordable to the initial homebuyer and any homebuyers thereafter for up to 15 years, with a mission to maintain and develop affordable housing that will build equity and add value to its residents and to the community where it is located.

Organization: Children’s Institute ($375,000)
Project Title: Enhanced Parent Engagement and Longitudinal Evaluation to Promote the Wellbeing of Young Children. This project aims to increase family education and engagement to promote school readiness, social emotional development, and family adjustment through supportive relationships for their young children and their families. It also advances partnerships that develop multi-tiered supportive and connected community systems that promote equity in socioemotional development and wellbeing of young children and their families and create capacity for assessing early childhood education (ECE) policy and practices in Rochester, and its effects over time through the creation of longitudinal datasets and analyses.

Organization: Encompass Resources for Learning ($375,000)
Project Title: The Youth Workforce Consortium will provide equitable access to the quality education, life skills, career development, job placement, and behavioral health services youth need to graduate from high school, enter careers, participate in the local economy, and become a skilled workforce. The Youth Workforce Consortium will develop the future workforce through an innovative, youth-centered model of accessible services for communities facing severe disparities.

Organization: Father Tracy Advocacy Center (FTAC) ($50,000)
The walk-in community-based information and referral center exists to empower grassroots community members to navigate complex systems that can improve their quality of life and overcome social and economic barriers to success. ESL funding will support the increase in number of people who need assistance that includes direct outreach where staff members and partners walk the streets in multiple defined ‘zones’ surrounding the center and offer basic assistance through providing masks, food, water, socks, hygiene kits, and answer questions.

Organization: Dress for Success ($48,475)
Dress for Success will continue to support and expand its workforce development program. In partnership with Rochester's Hope Service Rodeo, Dress for Success will market, recruit and serve 100 women with coaching and suiting services. Wardrobes for interviews and the workplace are provided at no cost to clients. Other services also include help with job searches, resume reviews, access to laptops, and computer skills training.

Organization: Clyde-Savannah Central School District ($25,000)
Growing and Thriving Outside of School Program (one of several programs in Wayne County funded by ESL) provides a safe, enriching environment for youth to grow after school hours and during summer and break vacations. Program includes soft skills workforce preparation, character building through the arts, community and family events, and STEM activities.

Organization: One Soldier at a Time ($7,000)
Hygiene Packages of Hope for Veterans to show veterans they are valued by boosting their self-esteem and confidence with essentials that are needed for daily living. The packages also include a handmade card sharing how valuable and appreciated they are by others in the community. Clothing is provided to veterans to help them feel confident when they go to work, job interviews, and/or meet with their family.

Organization: Turkish Society of Rochester ($10,000)
General Support for Earthquake Relief in Turkey to help the families who have been impacted by the earthquake that hit Turkey (and Syria) where more than 56,000 people died in the two countries.

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 23-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 $90 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