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ESL Charitable Foundation Gives $4 Million Grant to MCC Foundation to Support Scholarship Programs

The scholarships will go toward increasing access to college, ensuring students can continue their education, and filling financial aid gaps for students nearing graduation.

Rochester, N.Y. — ESL Federal Credit Union announced today that the ESL Charitable Foundation will provide a $4 million grant to the Monroe Community College (MCC) Foundation to support scholarship programs for MCC students.

The goals of these scholarship programs are to address critical challenges in the community that prevent individuals from accessing or completing their college education. The scholarships will be provided over a five-year period and focus on three programs for income-eligible students:

  1. Pathway to College: Increasing access to college for individuals without a high school diploma because students without a high school degree are not able to access federal aid to pursue a college education
  2. Strong Foundation: Pre-matriculation preparation needed because of the pattern of students exhausting their financial aid while completing developmental coursework that is required to be prepared for college-level classes
  3. Finish Strong: Financing final credits for students who have exhausted their financial aid just short of earning a certificate or degree

“Every student in our community, no matter their age or background, should have pathways available to an affordable, high-quality education that sets them up for career success,” said Faheem Masood, President & CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union. “MCC and the MCC Foundation have proven to be leaders in our community when it comes to making available education options that lead to meaningful employment opportunities for the Greater Rochester population. We are honored and elated to support these vital scholarship programs that will have a significant, positive impact on the students.”

Pathway to College will provide students with scholarships to earn 24 MCC credits, their New York State High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE), and a pathway to high-demand, living wage jobs.

Strong Foundations is a 15-week program for students with a high school degree who require pre-matriculation preparation to be successful in college. The intensive instruction to prepare for college-level work will offer a streamlined process into certificate and career programs.

Finish Strong will provide scholarships to students with fewer than 15 credits to graduate and who have exhausted their financial aid needed to complete their coursework. This program includes funds for expenses beyond tuition and complements MCC’s new Return to Complete program.

"ESL Charitable Foundation’s $4 million grant to the Monroe Community College Foundation’s Every Bright Future Needs a Strong Foundation campaign will result in more students successfully earning college degrees and certificates,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “MCC is thankful for ESL’s extraordinary commitment to the success of local students. Behind every student who is strengthened by this grant, there is a family and a community that will also benefit for years to come."

These programs have the capacity to support 265 students (100 for Pathway to College, 90 for Strong Foundations, and 75 for Finish Strong) each year, and 1,325 students over the lifetime of the five-year funding period.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With nearly 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to approximately 366,000 members world-wide. The company provides personal, business banking, and wealth management services through its locally-based 22 branch network, telephone, mobile, online, and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs more than 830 people in Rochester, New York and holds $6.8 billion in assets. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for nine years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found on the Internet at

Find and connect with ESL on Twitter (@ESLFCU) and

For more information, contact:

Rich Pulvino, APR
Vice President/Director, Corporate Communications