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Higgins Announces Over $2.88 Million Dedicated to Education & Community Enhancement Projects in Buffalo

Jul 26, 2013
Press Release
The Service Collaborative of WNY To Place Close to 200 AmeriCorps Members in Buffalo
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc. has been awarded over $2.88 million in federal funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Department of Labor.  The funding will support two AmeriCorps programs aimed at improving education outcomes for children in Buffalo schools and providing financial literacy training to residents and a YouthBuild program which will teach construction skills to at-risk young adults while improving neighborhood properties.

“These resources provide an opportunity to put additional people to work in areas of great need,” said Congressman Higgins.  “Through partnerships with Buffalo schools AmeriCorps members will be on the ground providing a helping hand to struggling students.  Be it through the advancement of academics, life skills or neighborhood rehabilitation, the work provided through the Service Collaborative of WNY helps build a stronger community.”  
"We are excited to have received such robust funding, which continues the needed services our participants provide to the local community," said Kate Sarata, the Executive Director of The Service Collaborative.  "With this funding, we will give service opportunities to individuals from our region as well as from around the country which will transform lives.  These individuals make a year-long commitment to serve daily in schools, organizations and in the community."
The Service Collaborative was awarded $1,368,762 in AmeriCorps funding, which will be matched with over $1.5 in local funds and in-kind donations, toward the AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education (ABLE) program.  ABLE will place 194 members in public schools and community organizations located in some of Buffalo’s most impoverished neighborhoods to assist with the academic engagement and achievement of over 3,000 children at 14 different schools. 
Higgins joined members of The Service Collaborative of WNY’s ABLE program working with students attending summer educational programming at Westminster Community Charter School, located within the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, to make the announcement. 
The Service Collaborative of Western New York is a critical asset to Buffalo Promise Neighborhood,” said David K. Chamberlain, CEO of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. “This federal funding will support several key touch points along the continuum of cradle-to-career solutions – including education, financial literacy training, and workforce development – that will strengthen BPN’s efforts to promote academic achievement and healthy development. On behalf of everyone at Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, I want to thank Congressman Higgins and the Service Collaborative of Western New York for securing this important funding.”
The Service Collaborative of WNY also received $1.1 million toward the Western New York YouthBuild: Leaders Under Construction project.  YouthBuild trains at-risk youth in the construction industry with a focus on education, occupational skills, employment readiness and leadership development.  The funds will support instruction for 64 students over a two-year period and facilitate renovations to two homes, resulting in new energy efficient low-income homeownership opportunities in Buffalo. 
The Service Collaborative will receive $412,685 in federal AmeriCorps funds, in addition to over $350,000 in local match and in-kind donations for Opportunity Corps. This funding will allow 35 full-time AmeriCorps members to serve at 22 partner sites across the City to provide financial literacy training and economic empowerment services to 12,500 economically disadvantaged individuals.
Established in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service toward the goal of improving lives and strengthening communities.