(Press release was issued by the Center for Joy, Niagara Falls, NY)

Center for Joy Receives Support from N.Y. Power Authority for Skill Development Program for Disadvantaged

Sister Beth Niederpruem, Center For Joy
(716) 282-7588

Joanne Willmott
(716) 285-6651

February 8, 2006
NIAGARA FALLS—A new mentoring program to promote self-sufficiency, education and job-readiness skills for local neighborhoods got a welcome boost Wednesday with the presentation of a check for $25,000 from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to The Center for Joy.

“We greatly appreciate the Power Authority’s assistance in our pilot program, which we’ve dubbed the ‘Connections Network’ pilot program, “ said Sister Beth Niederpruem, OSF, director of The Center for Joy. “This check represents a down payment on the future of central city and has the full support of our president, Virginia Wolbert, and the Board of Directors.”

“We’re excited about our role in getting this worthwhile program into full motion,” said Randy Crissman, the regional manager at the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project. “The Center for Joy does important work in facilitating social services for inner-city neighborhoods and providing educational and enrichment programs, especially for young people. The ‘Connections Network’ essentially expands on this good work, and refocuses attention for constructive solutions.”

Crissman noted that the Power Authority has committed to providing an additional $25,000 for the new program, linked to the Center’s raising $50,000 from other organizations within three years.

“We’re confident about achieving this goal,” said Sister Beth, OSF, LMSW. “The Sisters of St. Francis have agreed to provide a grant that we expect to announce soon, and we’re hopeful about other groups pitching in. So we’re really making progress for putting these plans into effect. 

The Center for Joy convened a special meeting of its Board of Directors on February 8 for receiving the Power Authority’s initial, $25,000 donation.

The literacy and mentoring initiatives under the ‘Connections Network’ focus on single parents, teenagers, and younger children. Various elements will address literacy improvement, employment readiness, parenting- skill competence and leadership development. Crissman noted that the Power Authority is encouraging Niagara Project staff members to be among the volunteers.

“We’ve long appreciated the importance of taking an active role in the communities where we operate our generating and transmission facilities,” he said. “The Niagara Project’s staff members have always stood out in this regard.”

The Center for Joy was established in 1991 to promote independence and help improve the quality of life for Niagara Falls households with the zip code 14305.

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