Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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December 22, 2012

First Niagara awards $200K to non-profits

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BUFFALO — First Niagara is once again giving back to non-profit agencies because Mentoring Matters.

First Niagara announced Wednesday it was giving a total of $200,000 in grants as part of the bank’s sixth annual Mentoring Matters program. Mentoring Matters is First Niagara’s charitable giving program that provides critical financial and volunteer support for mentoring efforts conducted throughout the Northeast region. 

Ten Western New York organizations have been selected to receive this year’s round of grant. The recipients include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara County, Be-A-Friend Program, Inc. (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County), Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns of WNY, Boys & Girls Clubs Of Buffalo Inc., Buffalo Prep Inc., Compeer of Greater Buffalo, Community Foundation For Greater Buffalo - Success Looks Like Me, Hillside Work Scholarship Connection, Inc., Seneca Street Community Development Corp. and Junior Achievement of Western New York.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, students from Buffalo’s Enterprise Charter School traveled to First Niagara’s Corporate Headquarters on Larkin Street to kick off the bank’s “Day of Mentoring” celebration. At the market center, the students learned from First Niagara bankers about financial literacy, marketing, and how to make a great first impression.

“Mentoring has a tremendous impact on the lives of young adults,” said Buford Sears, First Niagara Bank, Western New York market executive. “Studies clearly show that mentoring provides significant and tangible changes in students including better grades, improved school attendance, better behavior and evidence of a brighter future. Every child deserves to have a positive adult role model in his or her life.”

Over the past six years, First Niagara has provided more than $950,000 in financial support for mentoring programs in Western New York and $4.2 million for mentoring initiatives throughout its upstate New York, Pennsylvania and New England footprint.

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