Ascentra Credit Union Foundation Awards $20,000 in Grants to Area Charities and Organizations

BETTENDORF, IOWA – The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2018 Leadership Grants.  This summer, the foundation awarded a total of $20,000 to 31 different organizations and charities throughout the region.   

These efforts stem from the credit union’s People-Helping-People philosophy and encouragement of staff to volunteer and give back to the community.  In 2015, the foundation committee established $1,000 Leadership Grants for the Ascentra volunteer board of directors and senior leadership team to support causes that are meaningful to them.  Since their establishment, the Leadership Grants have positively impacted over 74 organizations and awarded a total of $71,000.

The charities and organizations selected this year include:

• Associate Benevolent Society, Clinton

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley, Davenport

• Café on Vine, Davenport

• Central DeWitt Community Educational Foundation, DeWitt

• Christ’s Family Day Care, Davenport

• Churches United of the Quad Cities, Bettendorf

• City Center Ministry, Davenport

• Community Health Care, Inc., Davenport

• East Moline School District – One on One Program, East Moline

• Father Conroy’s Vineyard of Hope, Davenport

• FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team number 648, Blue Grass

• Habitat for Humanity of Clinton County, Clinton

• Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities, Davenport

• Henry County Humane Society, Geneseo

• Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, Davenport

• Humane Society of Scott County, Davenport 

• Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America, Davenport

• King's Harvest Pet Rescue, Davenport

• Living Lands & Waters, East Moline

• One Eighty, Davenport 

• Pregnancy Resources, Davenport

• Quad City Animal Welfare Center, Milan 

• River Bend Foodbank, Davenport

• Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation, Rock Island 

• Safe Path Survivor Resources of Family Resources, Moline

• Spring Forward Learning Center, Rock Island

• St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport

• The Davenport Chordbusters, Davenport

• The Handicapped Development Center, Davenport

• YouthHope, Moline

• Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton

One recipient of these grants is the Glenview Middle School One by One program in East Moline.  This program is designed to take students beyond survival and into success. The program is designed for students who are, unfortunately, not always expected to thrive in education.

One By One serves predominately students of color who come from low socio-economic backgrounds in the East Moline School District #37. The purpose of this program is to expose students to higher learning to motivate and empower them to take ownership of their education before they enter high school. We create a gateway to higher education for first generation college bound students through university visits, community speakers and educational outreach.

The program includes college campus visits and instruction on how to navigate the steps to attend college, such as the high school courses needed, what a GPA is and how it is calculated, the difference between an ACT and SAT exam, how to pay for college, scholarships vs. loans and more. The 50 or so student participants also get monthly lunch visits from motivational speakers, people from within the local community who have beaten the odds to find success. One by One targets students who will be the first in their family to attend college/university,” Ms. Mojica explained. “The majority of our student members are Latino and African-American, student populations that are underrepresented on college campuses.”

Glenview Middle School One By One inspires students to reach for higher educational goals; develop leadership skills; and become involved in their community. Student members are exposed to college campuses and given opportunities to break down barriers with hopes of raising their educational expectations.

“The money will 100 percent be used for academic opportunities for first generation college-bound students this coming school year,” said One by One Program Coordinator, Margarita Mojica.  “We work with 50 students every year and so this money is essential in helping us to open those doors—we are very appreciative.” 

The Paul Lensmeyer Golf Outing is the major fundraiser for the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation and will take place on Monday, Sept. 24th at the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Course at 10 a.m.  The golf outing has raised a generous $53,516.62 over the past three years to benefit the foundation.  More information about the foundation’s mission can be found atascentra.org/foundation.

About The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation:

Established in 2013, the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation was created to honor the memory of Ascentra Credit Union President & CEO Paul Lensmeyer and to meet the charitable and educational objectives of the Board of Directors of the credit union. The mission of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the membership of Ascentra Credit Union and further the philanthropic outreach in the communities the credit union serves. The focus of the foundation is on funding work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.  More information can be found at ascentra.org/foundation.

About Ascentra:?

Founded in 1950, Ascentra Credit Union, is Iowa's premier credit union with more than $408 million in assets and 10 branches serving the communities of Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport, Le Claire, Muscatine, Iowa and Moline, Ill. Learn more about Ascentra Credit Union at ascentra.org.  Follow Ascentra on Facebook, on Twitter @ascentra, and on Instagram @ascentracu.  

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