NYACK, NY, March 6, 2014 –The non-profit and volunteer driven Rockland County YMCA is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $5,000 community grant from First Niagara Foundation. The funds are specifically being awarded to the Youth Leadership and Mentoring Program, which will have a delegation of 50 students from Rockland County attending the New York State YMCA Youth and Government Conference in Albany on March 7-9, 2014.
“We appreciate the generous grant from the First Niagara Foundation to support students to learn about government and develop their leadership ability,” said Chuck Maze, CEO, Rockland County YMCA. “This is an exciting opportunity for our high school students!”
This legislative program gives students an opportunity to write a bill, learn about parliamentary procedure, and debate in the actual chambers of the Senate and Assembly at the New York State Capital. In addition, students may participate as attorneys, judges, lobbyists, press reporters and elected officials.
“First Niagara is proud to support the Rockland County YMCA’s collaboration with local high schools, which will enrich the educational experience for these students,” said Sara Tucker, First Vice President, Regional Team Leader, Hudson Valley Business Banking for First Niagara. “Programs such as this continue to grow as an effective way to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.”
The students from Nyack High School and Pearl River High School will participate in the statewide conference with more than 500 students from a diversity of communities.
Nicholas Marshall, a junior at Nyack High School who will be running for Speaker of the Assembly, expressed that this is a great program because it is a hands-on experience run by the “students.” He added, “Democracy must be learned in every generation.”
As one of the largest banks in the region, First Niagara now has nearly 420 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and 26 branches in the Hudson Valley, including Blauvelt, New City, Nyack, Pearl River, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern and Tappan.