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Center for Joy Receives Additional Support From N.Y. Power Authority for Education And Job Skills Mentoring Program

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

Joanne Willmott, Power Authority
(716) 285-6651,

January 4, 2007


NIAGARA FALLS—The culmination of the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) recent support for the Center For Joy’s Connections Network Program was announced here today with the presentation of a second contribution of $25,000.  The funds are being used to further assist this mentoring program with its efforts to promote self-sufficiency, education and job-readiness skills for young people in several Niagara Falls neighborhoods.  

Last year, NYPA provided an initial contribution of $25,000 and committed to providing a duplicate contribution of $25,000 contingent on the Center for Joy raising $50,000 from other sources within three years.  The Center succeeded in meeting that goal within one year with grants from the Sisters of Saint Francis Ministry, the Eastern Province Vincentian, Mercy Circle of Friends and Focus on Family.  

“We greatly appreciate the Power Authority’s continued assistance in our mentoring program,” said Sister Beth Niederpruem, OSF, director, Center For Joy. 

“This donation will give the Connections Network Program stability for the future,” said Barbara F. Paul, president, Board of Directors, Center For Joy, Inc.

Horace Horton, regional manager for Western New York, NYPA, presented a ceremonial check for the latest contribution, along with Joanne Willmott, community relations manager, NYPA, to Sister Beth and her staff at the Center for Joy on 1117 Michigan Avenue.  Following the presentation, there was a tour of the facility highlighting the resources used for the Connections Network.

“By providing this support, the Power Authority is helping to build a solid foundation for this worthy program,” said Horton.  “The Center for Joy does important work in facilitating social services for inner-city neighborhoods by providing educational and enrichment programs, especially for young people. The Connections Network essentially expands on this good work and focuses attention on the skills needed by individuals looking to improve their lives.

“Two participants in the program were hired last year for summer jobs at the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project and received a wealth of experience through their assignments in general maintenance.”

“We’re confident about achieving our objectives of providing entrance level skills for those seeking jobs in the area,” said Sister Beth. “The commitment of our board of directors, the Sisters of St. Francis and the Power Authority has made a difference in people’s lives already. This past year, we facilitated almost 20 young people, ages 14 through 19, with summer jobs and many useful career skills for future opportunities in the work force.”
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.

“We’ve long appreciated the importance of taking an active role in the communities where we operate our facilities,” said NYPA Regional Manager Horton.  “The Niagara Project staff members have always stood out in this regard and we are encouraging staffers to be among the volunteers for this effort, too.”

 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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 About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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