CT Philanthropy Digest - Dec 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

 $10 Million UTC Investment to Support UConn School of Engineering
Alum Leaves $865,000 Scholarship Fund for Future Graduates
"Invisible No More" Explores Homelessness Among CT Youth
Female Veterans Get Career Development Through Newman's Own Foundation Grants
Community Foundation Announces Plan to End Homelessness
Foundation Rewards Major Academic Gains at Stamford School
'Hunger Lives Here' Report Highlights Food Insecurity Throughout Fairfield County
New United Way Investments Support Early Childhood
Children's Medical Center Receives Support for Innovative Care Coordination
Grant from Citi will build on Bridgeport's Public Housing Partnership
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$10 Million UTC Investment to Support UConn School of Engineering
          The UConn School of Engineering, in partnership with United Technologies Corporation (UTC), has launched the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at UConn, thanks to $10 million in planned investments from UTC. The contribution is one of the largest corporate gifts in UConn's history and represents a significant investment in educating the next generation of engineering leaders.

          In support of the Institute's launch, UTC will contribute $7.5 million over five years to the University of Connecticut as a cash gift, with a goal for an additional $2.5 million to fund sponsored research services related to advanced systems engineering projects for UTC.
          "We are excited to work with UConn to develop the next generation of engineers who understand how to approach complex systems," said Dr. J. Michael McQuade, UTC Senior Vice President, Science and Technology. "The Institute will train the innovators and engineers of today and tomorrow, ensuring that we have the people and skills necessary to keep UTC at the forefront of technology."
          For more information: Ian Race, UTC, (860) 728-6515, Ian.Race@UTC.com; Colin Poitras, UConn, (860) 486-4656, Colin.poitras@uconn.edu; Tom Andrea, Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, (860) 560-0001.

Alum Leaves $865,000 Scholarship Fund for Future Graduates
          A 1933 graduate of Stonington High School and his wife have left the powerful gift of higher education for future graduates of the school.
          With his death at age 97 in November 2012 and the passing of his wife Barbara in 2007, Thomas J. Ellis, Jr. left most of their joint estate to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut to establish a permanent four-year scholarship fund for college-bound Stonington High School seniors.
          The Thomas J. Ellis, Jr. Scholarship Award in Recognition of the Class of 1933 joins nearly 100 scholarship funds at the Community Foundation, serving schools and towns across eastern Connecticut, noted Maryam Elahi, president and CEO.
          "I think scholarships represent a deep commitment to give the next generation a helping hand," Elahi said. "The Ellises grew up in a time when few people went to college, especially in the midst of the Depression.  They and the generations that followed them rightly see education as our future."
          To apply for a Community Foundation scholarship, visit www.cfect.org/scholarships. To set up a scholarship fund in New London County, contact Alison Woods at (860) 442-3572 or Alison@cfect.org. For Windham County and parts of Tolland County, contact Kip Parker at (860) 442-3572 or kip@cfect.org .

"Invisible No More" Explores Homelessness Among CT Youth
          More than 100 policy makers, legislators, activists, and youths who are or have been homeless gathered in December for a policy forum on homelessness among Connecticut's youth, and the presentation of a year-long research study, Invisible No More.
          The study found that homeless youth are often not connected to services, and youth populations who are most vulnerable to housing insecurity are LGBT, trafficked, and/or have some involvement with the juvenile justice or child welfare systems. Young men and boys of color are also especially vulnerable, according to the study.
          Study recommendations include: creating a planning task force to develop and recommend strategies to address housing insecurity for young people, and developing strategies to improve the point-in-time-count of the number of housing insecure young people by increasing collaboration across Connecticut state systems and non-profit organizations and expanding the methodology used in gathering data and outreach to capture these young people.
          "Invisible No More" was funded by American Savings Foundation; Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness; The Melville Charitable Trust; Partnership for Strong Communities, and Tow Foundation.
    For more information: Susan Campbell, Partnership for Strong Communities, (860) 244-0066, susan@pschousing.org.

Female Veterans Get Career Development Through Newman's Own Foundation Grants
          Newman's Own Foundation has awarded a total of $300,000 in grants to seven nonprofit organizations that help female veterans with career development.
          Women veterans are receiving particular focus because they represent an under-served community with critical needs. Women represent the fastest growing segment of the veteran population and experience an unemployment rate 2.5% higher than their male counterparts.
          The seven grant recipients operating career programs for female veterans are:
  • Veterans, Inc. (Worcester, MA) - The Women Veterans Employment & Training program serves female veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  • Business and Professional Women's Foundation (Washington, DC) - Through the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus program, women veterans receive unlimited free online career development tools.
  • Every Woman Works (Atlanta, GA) - The Busy Empowering & Educating Veterans Employment Training Services program provides economically-disadvantaged female veterans with the tools necessary to transition from dependency to self-sufficiency.
  • Swords to Plowshares (San Francisco, CA) - Women Veterans NetWork is being launched to facilitate a healthy military-civilian transition for female veterans.
  • Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, PA) - Project Journey provides women veterans with emergency resources.
  • Women's Business Development Center (Chicago, IL) - The Woman Vetrepreneurship Program provides women veterans the business/financial education, capital, and support to establish and operate a sustainable small business.
  • Women, Food and Agriculture Network (Story City, IA) - The Iowa Women Farmer Veteran Network project will serve Iowa women veterans interested in farming careers.

          For more information: Jan Schaefer, Newman's Own Foundation, media@NewmansOwnFoundation.org.

Community Foundation Announces Plan to End Homelessness
          The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, New Beginnings of Northwest Hills Litchfield County, and more than ten local and regional nonprofits along with the Office of the Mayor recently held a press conference to announce a comprehensive plan to end homelessness in Northwest Connecticut.
          The Plan to End Homelessness in Northwest Connecticut is based on years of research and work by a host of communities around the country that embody best practices and proven results in homelessness prevention, housing, employment, and clinical and life-skill services.
          More than 33,000 people, including 13,000 children, experience homelessness over the course of a year in Connecticut. The chronically homeless, those who have experienced homelessness four or more times in the past three years, make up about 10 percent of Connecticut's homeless population. In the Northwest corner, 30 percent of those experiencing homelessness are chronically homeless.
          "The Plan is a call to innovation," said Guy Rovezzi, Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut President, "a move toward integrated community-wide collaboration with a focus on the cumulative impact of strategic undertakings that work toward clearly identified objectives."
          For more information: Nicole Carlson Easley, The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, (860) 626-1245, NEasley@cfnwct.org.

Foundation Rewards Major Academic Gains at Stamford School  
          The Hart Magnet Elementary School in Stamford made the greatest academic gain in student achievement in Fairfield County during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the Lone Pine Foundation, which gave the public school an award that included a $500 cash gift to every full-time employee.
          Employees of the second place winner, Stillmeadow Elementary School in Stamford, will each receive $350 and employees at the two finalist schools, Beardsley and John Winthrop schools in Bridgeport, will each receive $250. All four schools will receive $1,000 to be used at the school's discretion for academic gain.
          According to the foundation, all 161 public elementary schools in Fairfield County were considered through a combination of results on the Connecticut Mastery Test, then choosing among the top ten schools and conducting site visits among four finalists.

          The Lone Pine Foundation seeks to fight poverty through education and believes in rewarding those who provide high quality education and enable their students to achieve the greatest academic gain.
          For more information: Shawn Pattison, Abernathy MacGregor, (212) 371-5999, shp@abmac.com.

'Hunger Lives Here' Report Highlights Food Insecurity Throughout Fairfield County
          In a new report, Hunger Lives Here: A Look at Food Insecurity in Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Fairfield County Community Foundation reviews the diverse challenges faced by government and nonprofit agencies to provide much-needed food to residents living in all of our communities.
          "The solutions to hunger in Fairfield County go far beyond simply ensuring our community food pantries are fully stocked and our residents are able to access federal aid programs," said Juanita T. James, President & CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. "To truly address the root causes of this problem, we must consider innovative solutions that get at the heart of the problem."
          "Hunger Lives Here" provides a snapshot of the challenges facing the food insecure residents in Fairfield County and the possible solutions. Among the major findings are:
  • Nearly one in ten families with children live in 'food deserts' - areas where fresh fruit and vegetables are not readily available
  • One in five urban residents lives in poverty
  • Poverty in suburban areas increased by 40% from 2001 to 2011
  • Less than one-third of jobs in the region can be easily reached via public transportation
  • In suburban towns, participation in government aid programs is minimal - in some towns, less than 5% of eligible residents are signed up for SNAP (food stamp) benefits
  • About one-third of 50-59 year olds living below 200% of the poverty line in Connecticut are food insecure

          For more information: Jeff Yates, Fairfield County Community Foundation, (203) 750-3212, jyates@fccfoundation.org.

New United Way Investments Support Early Childhood
          United Way of Greater New Haven is investing more than $200,000 in two innovative strategies to ensure that young children start school developmentally on track in terms of health, literacy, social, emotional, and intellectual skills. The strategies are part of United Way's effort to change the odds so that every child and family has the opportunity for a good life.
          "So much critical brain development happens in the first three years, one of our key priorities is to focus on programs that serve infants and toddlers and their families," said Jennifer McGrady Heath, executive vice president at United Way of Greater New Haven.
          The two newly funded initiatives are Secure Start and Quality Matters:
  • Secure Start supports parent-child attachment at the youngest ages. The funds will provide training and support to community-based organizations to implement a curriculum focused on attachment called "Circle of Security-Parenting." Recipients of Secure Start funding include Clifford Beers, East Haven Early Childhood Collaborative, Fair Haven Community Health Center, Sarah, Inc., and the Yale School of Medicine (at the Primary Care Center).
  • Quality Matters is designed to enhance the quality of early care and education in communities with the highest percentage of children in our region living in poverty (New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, and Hamden) through a focus on coaching to improve either home-based or center-based early childhood educators' practice in early literacy and/or math. Recipients of Quality Matters funding are All Our Kin, Catholic Charities/Centro San Jose, Hamden's Partnership for Young Children, and the New Haven Early Childhood Council.

          For more information: Joshua Mamis, United Way of Greater New Haven, (203) 691-4229, jmamis@uwgnh.org.

Children's Medical Center Receives Support for Innovative Care Coordination
          The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) Board of Directors awarded the Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC), a $97,089 one-year grant to fund the Hartford Care Coordination Collaborative.
          The new project, "Innovation in Care Coordination: A Community Systems Approach," aims to fill coordination gaps in the current fragmented system that often leaves vulnerable, at-risk children and their families, especially those of color, without effective linkages to the full spectrum of medical services and programs available in their communities.
          "Care coordination is so essential to ensure effective collaboration across the sectors of child health, early care and education, and family support and to enable children and their families to access critical, developmentally-enhancing programs and services," said Paul Dworkin, MD, Executive Vice President for Community Child Health, Connecticut Children's Medical Center. "This grant will enable us to bring the 'shared resource, central utility' model of care coordination to scale in the Hartford region, and to demonstrate the efficacy and cost benefit of this model to inform statewide expansion."
          For a list of all CT Health grant awards visit their website.
          For more information Maryland Grier, Connecticut Health Foundation, (860) 724-1580, ext. 21, Maryland@cthealth.org.

Grant from Citi will build on Bridgeport's Public Housing Partnership
          The Fairfield County Community Foundation in Norwalk has been awarded a grant of $250,000 from the Citi Foundation to increase economic opportunity in Bridgeport as part of the Partners in Progress (PIP) initiative launched in New York City.
          The initiative, backed by the Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), promotes a "quarterback" model of community development to create strong, resilient neighborhoods and paths to economic opportunity. This model builds the capacity of trusted organizations that align objectives, resources, and efforts among local stakeholders.
          "Recognizing that there is no 'one size fits all' solution to improving economic opportunity, we know the quarterback model works to align smart approaches with smart financing," said Nancy O. Andrews, President and CEO of LIIF.
          Under the one-year grant, the Foundation will continue to build upon and lead the P.T. Barnum Partnership Initiative in Bridgeport. The partnership provides intensive case management and support services to 154 high risk families living in Bridgeport public housing. Since 2009, 96% of families enrolled in the program have avoided eviction, gotten back on their feet financially and moved their lives forward.
          For information:  Jeff Yates, Fairfield County Community Foundation, (203) 750-3212, jyates@fccfoundation.org.



Bank of America seeks student leaders in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Stamford
          As part of its Student Leaders ® program, the Bank of America Foundation is inviting high school juniors and seniors who attend school or live in the four cities of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven or Stamford to apply to be Student Leaders. Winners will receive a paid eight-week summer internship with a local nonprofit and attend Bank of America's national Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.
    The deadline for applications is January 31.
    For more information: Dean Andrews, Bank of America, 860-952-6505, Constantine.g.andrews@bankofamerica.com; Nicholas Vazques, Bank of America, 860-952-6753, nicholas.s.vazquez@bankofamerica.com.

Five Communities Eligible for an Education Grant on How to Support Parents
          Community Conversations about Education, a program of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, is offering to five communities the opportunity to host Spring 2014 conversations focused on the issue guide, Looking for Answers Together: How Should We Nurture Children to Be Healthy and Make Better Choices?.
          The goal of the program is to improve outcomes for children and youth by involving more citizens (especially parents) in defining and supporting community priorities.
          The deadline for applications for the $1,500 grants is January 10, 2014.
          For more information: Mary Broderick, (860) 739-7866, mary-broderick@att.net; Nancy Polk, (203) 397-2799.

Conservation Project Announces Call for 2014 Grant Submissions
Applications for the Bank of America Art Conservation Project are welcome from nonprofit cultural institutions with significant works of art requiring conservation. The deadline for the online proposals is January 17, 2014.
          The Art Conservation Project is a unique program that provides grants to nonprofit museums to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration. Since the program's launch in 2010, Bank of America has provided grants to museums in 25 countries for 57 conservation projects.
          For more information: Diane Wagner, Bank of America, (312) 992-2370, diane.wagner@bankofamerica.com.


The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut welcomes three community leaders to its Board of Directors.
          Attorney THOMAS A. BORNER of Promfret, has led Putnam Bank as president & CEO in 1999-2000 and again since 2006. Borner is also counsel to the law offices of Borner, Aleman & Davis, located in Putnam. Borner and his wife Katy are both active in the community. He served as a Director of the Northeast Connecticut Habitat for Humanity, and the couple have worked on a number of national "builds" for Habitat for Humanity International. As chairs of Day Kimball Hospital's Annual Giving Appeal (and a member of the Board of Incorporators), the Borners helped to raise more than than $1.5 million.
          ELIZABETH M. "BETTI" KUSZAJ of Brooklyn, has been executive director of the Northeastern CT Chamber of Commerce since 1982. Kuszaj has served on several boards for multiple years, including: Day Kimball Hospital, Hospice of Northeast CT, Rotary Club of Putnam (including a term as president), the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and the Northeast Economic Alliance.
          MARCIA L. MARIEN, CPA, is a partner with O'Connor Davies. Previously she was the managing partner of the CPA firm Marien + Company. Marien's professional and community involvements include acting as the spokesperson for the state's Society of CPAs CT Fiscal Crisis Task Force, as well as having been the Society's former president and treasurer, among other positions. She also serves on the accounting advisory council for the University of Connecticut's School of Business.

Connecticut Health Foundation's (CT Health) board of directors recently selected KENNETH R. ALLEYNE, MD of Farmington to serve a one-year term.
          Dr. Alleyne is a board certified sports medicine orthopedic surgeon practicing in Connecticut and Manhattan, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Connecticut. He is also Clinical Dean at the American University School of Medicine in Barbados. Dr. Alleyne is a managing partner of Gardiner Ebers Consulting and Harthaven Partners, a healthcare consultancy and investment firm based in Connecticut and New York City. In addition, he is a founding partner of NextLevel Health Partners, a coordinated care entity.


For more news about philanthropy in Connecticut go to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's press room and the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest archives.
News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to the Council for consideration. The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Edited by Laurie Allen.
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