CT Philanthropy Digest - Jul 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

$200,000 investment promises major plan for unemployed youth
Connecticut Health promotes insurance for people of color
UTC contributes $2 million to "elevate" Smithsonian's new museum
Aetna asks, "Who is the healthiest?" Everyone says, "We are!"
Newman's Own, Echoing Green introduce burgeoning entrepreneurs
Foundation offers $10,000 to address children's mental health
Students' art showcased all over Hartford in early August
Hartford Y to expand sports program for para-athletes
More Philanthropy News
Transitions and Announcements
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$200,000 investment promises major plan for unemployed youth
Armed with two new $100,000 grants from the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Capital Workforce Partners and the City of Hartford are promising a "full-scale, multi-year, comprehensive Opportunity Youth Implementation Plan" within a year to deal with the 1 in 4 Hartford youth ages 16-24 who are either high school dropouts or are neither in school nor working.

The one-year planning effort includes the Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative, chaired by Mayor Pedro Segarra.

"It has never been more important to reconnect youth to education, skills training and productive careers. Our future depends on it," said Thomas Phillips, President and CEO for Capital Workforce Partners.

For more information: Sandra Rodriguez, srodriguez@capitalworkforce.org.

Connecticut Health promotes insurance for people of color
Among $575,000 in new grants, the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) awarded Access Health CT (AHCT), the state's health insurance marketplace, $125,000 over the next year to increase coverage in communities of color. People of color represent 65% of Connecticut's uninsured, according to Thomson Reuters.

According to CT Health, AHCT will work with the state's Office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA) to educate and enroll people of color.

"This grant award will help us achieve our shared goal of ending health disparities in Connecticut through providing culturally and linguistically appropriate support," said Vicki Veltri, state healthcare advocate.

This and six other grants are described on CT Health's website.

For more information: Maryland Grier, (860) 724-1580, x21, Maryland@cthealth.org.

UTC contributes $2 million to "elevate" Smithsonian's new museum
United Technologies Corporation and its subsidiary Otis Elevator Co. will donate eight "green" Otis escalators, valued at $2 million, to the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction on the National Mall in Washington, DC adjacent to the Washington Monument.

The new escalators use power monitoring sensors and other advanced technology to use less energy than conventional escalators, the company reports, helping the museum achieve its goal of becoming the first LEED-certified museum on the Mall.

Scheduled for completion in 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

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Aetna asks, "Who is the healthiest?" Everyone says, "We are!"
Results from a new study commissioned by Aetna reveal that American adults of all ages - Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers - feel that their own generation is the healthiest. Harris Interactive surveyed 1,800 Americans ages 25-64 online this spring.

Across the generations, Americans give themselves fairly high marks on health status, with an average score of 70.1 on a 0-100 scale. About a third of people (34%) say they're living healthier today than five years ago.

Among the findings:

  • Almost twice as many Baby Boomers (23%), ages 49-64, define being healthy as getting recommended screenings or checkups, compared to both GenXers (ages 37-48) and Millennials (ages 25-36). Millennials define being healthy as having good eating habits (24 percent) and regular physical activity (22%).
  • Millennials are far more likely (37%) to reach for alcohol when stressed. Both GenXers and Millennials also tend to snack on unhealthy food when dealing with stress (48% and 51%) more than Baby Boomers.
  • Baby Boomers are less self-conscious and look at the big picture. More than half of Baby Boomers (53%) would tell their younger selves not to "sweat the small stuff," a higher rate than both GenXers (43%) and Millennials (36%).

The study is a part of Aetna's "What's Your Healthy?" campaign.

For more information: Ethan Slavin, (860) 273-6095, SlavinE@aetna.com.

Newman's Own, Echoing Green introduce burgeoning entrepreneurs
Newman's Own Foundation is partnering with social entrepreneurship advocates Echoing Green this year as the latter announces a new class of 37 Fellows from around the world, addressing such issues as refugee youth and life-improving technologies in developing countries. According to Echoing Green spokespeople, the Fellows will receive seed funding and technical assistance over two years. They were chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants.

Previous Echoing Green Fellows include the founders of Teach For America, City Year, College Summit, Citizen Schools, One Acre Fund, and SKS Microfinance.

Find a complete description of the Fellows and their projects online.

For more information: Jan Schaefer, media@NewmansOwnFoundation.org.

Foundation offers $10,000 to address children's mental health
In the wake of last year's Newtown/Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain's Catalyst Fund is offering $10,000 for the best proposal that addresses mental health issues facing youth. The deadline for proposals is August 9; the winner will be announced in November.

The Community Foundation said proposals should address three components:

  1. expansion of public education and awareness
  2. enhancement of early detection and screening, and
  3. development, strengthening or expansion of therapeutic programs and/or interventions that encourage self-awareness and personal empowerment for youth diagnosed with a mental illness.

Nonprofits can obtain the Request for Proposals online or by contacting Joeline Wruck, Director of Program, at jwruck@cfgnb.org or (860) 229-6018, x307.

The Catalyst Fund is a giving circle of donors interested in improving the quality of life in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington.

For more information: Jim Williamson, (860) 229-6018 x306, jim@cfgnb.org.

Students' art showcased all over Hartford in early August
The Greater Hartford Arts Council is inviting residents to enjoy the work of local students enrolled in the 2013 Neighborhood Studios program with five public exhibitions held at cultural institutions throughout the city.

For six weeks each summer, Neighborhood Studios links participating students with Hartford's cultural institutions. Each organization provides specific training in a different artistic discipline and field. Students work as paid apprentices in daily workshops with Master Teaching Artists. Apprentices also participate in weekly career skills seminars to prepare them for the workplace.

Exhibitions and performances include:

  • Snap! A photography exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
    Thursday, August 1, 5:30 pm
  • Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Artists Collective
    Wednesday, July 31 6:30 pm
  • Breakdancing Shakespeare at Hartford Stage
    Wednesday and Thursday, August 13-15, 7 pm
  • Eye on Video! at Real Art Ways Cinema
    Thursday, August 8, 6 pm
  • Write to the Point! at the Mark Twain House & Museum
    Wednesday, August 7, 6 pm

The complete performance program is at the Letsgoarts website.

For more information: Tim Yergeau, (860) 525-8629 x249, tyergeau@letsgoarts.org.

Hartford Y to expand sports program for para-athletes
Thanks to $50,000 from The Hartford, the YMCA of Greater Hartford is expanding its Adaptive Sports Program for athletes with disabilities, including those who have suffered traumatic injury or significant illness. The athletes receive physical training and personal support necessary to participate in various competitions.

The para-athletes are paired with a YMCA Triathlon Club volunteer coach two to four days per week for two hours per session. The Hartford's contribution will also provide funding for members of the Y-Teen Incentive Program (Y-TIP) from the Wilson-Gray YMCA in Hartford to serve as Tri-Club volunteers. Y-TIP helps at-risk teens overcome cultural barriers and challenges, including involvement in gangs, violence, and drugs.

For more information: Natalie Zembrzuski, (860) 522-9622, x2309.

FIND more news, SEND us your news & VISIT the press room
For more philanthropy news go to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's press room and the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest archives. Funders, please email us your news and feedback.

Transitions and Announcements

DAVID NEE, executive director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, will retire on January 2, 2014.

"The creation of the new State Office of Early Childhood is a hugely important milestone. This seems to me an ideal time to step down, knowing that there is now a single point in government that will unify and mobilize all of Connecticut's considerable expertise and resources to serve children, families and communities better than ever before."

Trustee Bill Graustein responded, "Over his two-decade tenure with the Memorial Fund, David Nee has embodied a remarkable model of how a foundation can work with communities, nonprofit organizations, and state government to advance the well being of children. He has shown the power of patiently building long-term relationships based on respect, mutual support and a search for shared interest. We are deeply grateful for the guidance of David's moral compass, for his vision, and for his dedication to improving the systems that affect the life outcomes of Connecticut's children."

Last year, Nee was recognized for his work both nationally and across Connecticut. He was awarded the Fred Rogers Award by Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, as well as the Martha S. Newman Award from the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

The Memorial Fund is conducting a national search for Nee's successor.

Cigna has announced DAVID FIGLIUZZI of Hartford as the new executive director of the Cigna Foundation. Figliuzzi has been with Cigna for 19 years, most recently in the company's Total Health and Network organization. He has lived in Hartford since 2001.

"In my work on our corporate side, I've seen personally the tremendous difference Cigna has made in improving individual health. It's exciting to now be part of the Cigna Foundation's efforts to help build healthier communities too," Figliuzzi said. "Part of the foundation's mission is to help employees give back through volunteerism. Over the last 50 years, Cigna employees have volunteered more than a million hours of their time in service to others. That's an incredible record and source of pride for all of us."

Figliuzzi has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Foundation for Community Health has welcomed EVELYN GARZETTA to its Board of Directors. Garzetta is the Director of Grace Episcopal Church Latino Outreach in Dutchess County, NY. She also chairs the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Latino Outreach Roundtable Advisory Committee and teaches ESL classes in Amenia and Pine Plains.

As a Vestry Member at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia Union, NY, she heads its Altar Guild and was the Coordinator of the Food of Life/Comida de Vida Food Pantry. In 2012, she was appointed to the Mid-Hudson Executive Committee Episcopal Diocese Mid-Hudson Region, New York.

Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford, a network of public and private organizations that invests in the "development of an educated, self-sufficient workforce," was one of just three in the United States to receive the 2013 Chairman's Award for Exemplary Collaborative from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions at its annual meeting in Atlanta.

Linda J. Kelly, president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, a founding organization of the collaborative and a lead funder noted, "Together, we have helped 1,200 lower-income individuals take the next step towards a good job that pays well."

Other Collaborative Funders include, American Savings Foundation, Capital Workforce Partners, Community Chest of New Britain and Berlin, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Nutmeg Foundation, Prudential Foundation and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

For more information and a complete list of members, visit www.workforce-solutions.org


The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. News about member funders may be submitted to the Council for consideration.

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