Thirty-seven local nonprofit agencies will receive $1.145 million in grants from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, in a grant round just announced to those organizations. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $100,000.
Applications totaling nearly $20 million came from more than 140 organizations in this round of funding, which focused on projects in education. Under the rubric “Getting to 21”—helping youth in ways that lead to success and enhanced opportunities later in life—the Foundation invited applications in the areas of school readiness, career readiness, and out-of-school opportunities.
Among the grants were those to:
- The School of the Holy Childhood, for a Supported Employment Program to prepare young individuals with disabilities to live and work in their local communities. A rehabilitation specialist will help students to find jobs outside of regular school hours, with individualized instruction about their jobs and plans to insure that they are able to use the transportation to get to the job site.
- LASS (Ladies Attaining Self-Sufficiency), a program instilling self-sufficiency in economically disadvantaged and at-risk young girls before they graduate from City School #35. The program helps the girls to trust themselves and their peers, to learn decision-making and communication skills, to understand “wellness” habits, and to become aware of potential career paths.
- Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association, a consortium of six educational institutions, to expand its summer learning and enrichment program (LEAP) for low-income students. The participating programs are Horizons at Harley, Horizons at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, Horizons at Nazareth College, Horizons at Monroe Community College, and the Rochester Young Scholars Academy at SUNY Geneseo that exclusively serves Rochester City School District students.
- Rochester General Hospital, for its School-to-Work Youth Apprenticeship Program, a longstanding initiative that allows City School District students to attend regular high school classes in the morning and work at Rochester General in the afternoons, rotating through different areas of the hospital. A full 100 percent of the participants successfully complete high school.
The reviewers were faced with an almost overwhelming number of “very legitimate, very well thought-out, and very well written applications,” said trustee Kenneth D. Bell. “That was a big challenge for us. But by the end of the process, and with our external reviewers, we came to a consensus that we had identified the best projects to support in this funding round.”
A number of grants will target programs helping city school students. "As we all know, this great City of Rochester has a school system with regrettably low state rankings,” Dr. Al Ureles, another trustee, said. “It is vital to help turn this around."
"The Farash staff is to be commended for the exemplary way in which the process was organized,” said trustee Theresa Mazzullo. “They developed a multi-disciplinary process that ensured each grant was appropriately vetted."
The $1.145 in grants to educational programs complement the Foundation’s commitment, announced in January, of up to $3.5 million to the newly created First in Family Scholarships. This scholarship program will enable students from Monroe and Ontario Counties to graduate from college absolutely debt-free. The scholarships will be awarded to promising students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college and join any of the next three entering classes at institutions of higher education in Monroe and Ontario Counties.