KeyBank and FreePressMedia announce finalists in Build a Stronger Vermont grant competition

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KeyBank and FreePressMedia announce finalists in Build a Stronger Vermont grant competition

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 1:35am -- tim

KeyBank and FreePressMedia have announced six finalists in the 2013 Build a Stronger Vermont Grant Competition. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges and will be put to a public vote to determine three winners that will take home prizes ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. The finalists are all Vermont nonprofits that provide financial education or workplace development to advance economic self-sufficiency.
‘ ‘We received an overwhelming response to the call for applications and the ultimate decision by the judging panel was not an easy one’ said Don Baker, president, Vermont Market, KeyBank. Baker added, ‘We hope the public will vote online for their favorite program and help determine where the grant funds will be awarded.’
The judging panel include Tom Torti, ‘ President of The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; Martha Maksym, Executive Director United Way of Chittenden County; Roger Hess, ‘ Vice President/General Manager at WFFF-TV, Nexstar Broadcasting; ‘ Jim Fogler President and Publisher/Free Press Media; and Don Baker, President, Vermont Market KeyBank.
‘It’s great to be involved with a project that will significantly impact local non-profits and members of our community in such a positive way,’ noted Jim Fogler, president and publisher of the Burlington Free Press. ‘Once again we're pleased to be partnering with KeyBank on an initiative which directly ties to our purpose of serving the greater good of Burlington and the Vermont communities we serve".
The finalists are:
1. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Vermont Works for Women - FRESH Food;
2. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy - Vermont Students Find Financial Success on Awesome Island;
3. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Champlain Housing Trust ‘ Home Education and Financial Counseling Program;
4. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity ‘ Growing Money Program;
5. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Navicate ‘ Training Interns and Partnering for Success (TIPS); and
6. ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ Champlain Community Services ‘ School2Work.
The FRESH Food program, started by Vermont Works for Women, is a training program that provides women with the necessary skills and experience needed to work in professional kitchens. FRESH Food is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network and works with more than 20 local and regional vendors to prepare locally sourced, healthy meals while teaching women the skills necessary to succeed in the food service industry.
Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy is designed to develop financial literacy skills in K-12 students, college students, teachers, and adults. ‘ The Awesome Island board game is a classroom game that introduces all the critical elements of personal finance. Students enjoy it so much they ask to play again. Teachers love it because the students really learn. ‘ Help the next generation of Vermonters face an awesome financial future with this game that will increase the level of personal finance knowledge and sophistication among students and teachers in K-12 classrooms across Vermont. ‘ 
Champlain Housing Trust runs a Home Education and Financial Counseling Program for potential homeowners interested in learning more about the financial responsibilities that come with purchasing a home. They offer workshops and one-on-one support on the home-buying process, covering topics including loans, realtors, improving credit, and managing budgets.
The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity offers their Growing Money Program to those who struggle with finances. The program teaches day-to-day financial management skills, setting and achieving financial goals, cutting household costs, and creating spending plans that fit various lifestyles and incomes. Through the program, participants learn how to pay down debt and steer clear of it in the future.
Navicate is focused on creating real world learning opportunities for young people through internships, job experience, and college and career preparation. The Training Interns and Partnering for Success (TIPS) program combines an internship with a job skills class to teach students key skills that are necessary in finding and maintaining jobs. The program teaches students how to develop and work toward goals in their careers.
Champlain Community Services supports individuals with developmental disabilities in achieving as much independence as possible. The School2Work collaborative prepares Chittenden County high school students with developmental disabilities for the transition into the workforce after graduation by aligning individual student skills and interests with the needs of employers for skilled workers.
Voting is open to Vermont residents on November 18 and ballots can be done online through facebook.com/KeyBankCommunity or at Vermont KeyBank branches. Ballots may be submitted to any Vermont KeyBank branch between November 18 and December 6.
Build a Stronger Vermont is made possible with the additional support of the Burlington Free Press/FreePressMedia and media sponsor ABC 22 and FOX 44.
The nonprofit with the most votes will receive a one-time $25,000 grant from KeyBank Foundation. The first runner up will receive a $15,000 grant and the second runner up will receive a $10,000 grant. Grant recipients will be announced on Dec 12 at the KeyBank /Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party.
KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable foundation that through its: civic programs, corporate contributions, and volunteerism; supports organizations and programs that foster economic self-sufficiency.
Burlington, VT , Nov. 15, 2013 ‘ KeyBank