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Philanthropy

This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

Administration’s Budget Priorities Eliminate Funding For Those With Most Need

STATEMENT BY CASEY HARDEN, INTERIM CEO, YWCA USA

“YWCA USA finds the administration’s proposed FY 2018 budget priorities cause for serious concern and immediate action. The budget includes massive cuts to programs that directly impact YWCAs and the families we serve while funneling funds into troubling initiatives like a border wall and increased deportation efforts.

“The full elimination of the Community Development Block Grant will pull the rug out from under community safety nets across the country. These funds support a variety of critical local YWCA projects from emergency and permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence, to after school programs, adult education, and career training for women and girls. This $3 billion grant is a slim percentage of the discretionary spending budget, but has a huge impact in the communities we serve. Further, the nature of the funding allows states and local municipalities the use the funding in a way that best serves the unique needs of their community. Eliminating block grant funding will not only eliminate critical services, it will eliminate an effective federal government funding model.

“We are also deeply troubled by the 18 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services and the 21 percent cut to the Department of Labor. These departments are responsible for administering programs that are crucial to the health, safety and economic security of women and families.

“Across-the-board cuts to social safety net programs will have a serious impact on low income families like the 2 million people helped in local YWCAs each year. These families will face even greater barriers to financial self-sufficiency if funding for supportive programs like housing, childcare, and job training is slashed at the federal level. Specifically, the elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) will further endanger the many women and children experiencing domestic violence and who rely on LSC to assist them in finding safety from abuse and violence. While we are concerned about cuts to federal work study funding, we are glad to see that the Pell Grant program was protected. All similar support programs should be protected and their funding maintained.

“YWCA will continue to push back against the administration’s racially motivated policies and the funding that could make them a reality. This includes funding for a border wall, increased efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants, increased policing without plans to reduce profiling, discrimination, and excessive force faced by communities of color, and counter-terrorism efforts that profile Muslims or any other religious, racial, or ethnic group.

“YWCA USA is a part of a global movement of 25 million women and girls engaged with YWCAs around the world. As such, we believe that maintaining funding for important United Nation’s initiatives, such as those related to climate change, is crucial for women here in the United States and across the globe. Women and girls have been and will continue to be those most affected by climate change impacts on every continent.

“YWCA USA calls on Congress to pass a federal budget that supports women and families who are trying to make ends meet, that helps build a fair and equitable United States, and that does not fund and promote policies that further marginalize communities of color. The budget priorities we see today, do not meet that aim.”

About YWCA USA

YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more: www.ywca.org.

Academy Award-Nominated Film LION to Be Honored at International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children’s 2017 Gala for Child Protection

Harvey Weinstein to Accept Award

Thursday, May 4

NBC News Anchor Kate Snow to Emcee

(from L to R) Facebook’s Director of Trust and Safety Emily Vacher, LION Screenwriter Luke Davies and ICMEC President and CEO Maura Harty

Press Release – February 22, 2017 (Alexandria, Va.) — The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), a non-profit organization that advocates, trains and collaborates with global partners to protect children from sexual abuse, exploitation and abduction, will host the 2017 Gala for Child Protection: Because All Children Deserve a Safe Childhood on Thursday, May 4 at 6 p.m. at Gotham Hall in New York City. The third annual gala will honor the 2017 Academy Award-nominated film LION in recognition of its critical role in raising the global community’s awareness of the issue of missing children. Celebrated movie producer Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of The Weinstein Company which released LION, will accept the 2017 Champion for Children award in honor of the film. ICMEC also will honor Facebook with its 2017 Global Impact for Child Protection award for their longtime support of ICMEC’s global programs and introducing child alert systems. NBC News and MSNBC anchor Kate Snow will serve as the evening’s emcee.

LION, starring Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman and Oscar-nominated actor Dev Patel, is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley. At the age of five, Brierley was separated from his brother in a train station and ultimately was forced to survive on the streets of Calcutta before being adopted by an Australian family. Later, as a grown man, played by Patel, he used Google Earth to reunite with his biological family in India. LION was nominated for the 2017 Best Picture Oscar, and actors Patel and Kidman both received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations this year. In addition, Australian screenwriter Luke Davies was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. In citing the work, Ambassador Maura Harty, ICMEC President and CEO, said: “The compelling film not only tells Saroo Brierley’s story, but it also captures the tragic pain and loss suffered by missing children and their families anywhere in the world. We are grateful that Harvey Weinstein and LION unsparingly, but eloquently, helps raise awareness of this critical issue.”

Facebook has long been an active and engaged partner, supporting ICMEC’s global training programs, and recently introducing emergency child alert response systems to help locate children around the world. “Facebook could not be more proud of our longtime partnership with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children,” says Emily Vacher, Facebook’s Director of Trust and Safety. “Two years ago, in partnership with ICMEC, we were excited to announce that we would begin distributing missing child alerts on Facebook in several countries around the globe – empowering the Facebook community to aid in reuniting missing children with their families. We look forward to many more years of collaborative efforts to help reunite families and protect children around the world.”

Proceeds from this fundraising gala will be directly invested in The Global Impact Fund. For ticket information, please visit the event website at gala.icmec.org.

About ICMEC

The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is a private 501(c)(3) non-governmental, nonprofit organization. For more than 16 years, ICMEC has been a leader in identifying gaps in the global community’s ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, and expertly assembling the people, resources and tools needed to fill those gaps. ICMEC focuses on programs that have an impact on addressing the issues surrounding missing children, child abduction, child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Independent Sector Statement on Trump Administration Budget Proposal

Press Release – (WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017) — The following is a statement by Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO, Independent Sector:

“Independent Sector, the leading voice of the charitable community in the United States, is gravely concerned about the budget blueprint sent to Congress by the Trump Administration.

The Administration’s opening budget proposal, while non-binding, is at odds with our recently- adopted Statement of Beliefs Regarding Federal Tax and Spending Policies. Using this framework as a lens to assess the Administration’s budget, we find the deep cuts proposed to non-defense discretionary programs threaten the vitality of the charitable sector’s enduring partnership with the federal government.

More importantly, the blueprint seeks to strengthen other Administration priorities at the expense of agencies and programs that help communities address the needs of the diverse makeup of their constituencies — from celebrating cultural achievements to offering critical, life-sustaining support.

We believe that societies thrive when all people have an opportunity to prosper and succeed, and it is therefore vital that national investment and spending policies prioritize programs that are demonstrating their promise and effectiveness in increasing economic mobility and enriching the lives of all Americans. As spending debates move forward and difficult decisions about spending cuts are made, we urge policymakers to strive for and shape fiscal priorities that recognize the inherent value of all individuals, families and communities, and the institutions that work with them to build their potential as agents of positive change and renewal in our nation.

We stand ready to work in deep partnership with both the Administration and Congress to achieve that goal for the American people.”

Makers Unite and The Refugee Nation Join Forces to Create Jobs for Refugees

Refugee support flags made from life-vests help commemorate the Syrian Revolution

Press Release – New York, NY – March 17, 2017 – To mark the week of the sixth anniversary of the Syrian revolution, Makers Unite and The Refugee Nation today announce a partnership to generate employment opportunities for refugees that honor the Syrian Journey.

Makers Unite is gathering thousands of life-vests used by migrants crossing into Greece and hiring refugees themselves to create refugee support flags. Each flag serve as a powerful symbol of hope and solidarity with refugees around the world, and proceeds go directly to further refugee employment.

“It is our hope that by hiring refugees to create the refugee flag, we will help both to provide people in need with the necessary means to start a new life, and increase global awareness for this important cause” said Thami Schweichler, Director and Co-Founder of Makers Unite. “We are honored to work with The Refugee Nation on this initiative to stand with the thousands of displaced people around the world who have bravely escaped war, persecution or natural disasters.”

The Refugee Flag made by refugees can be purchased by visiting www.makerunite.eu/therefugeenation

About Makers Unite

Makers Unite, is an Amsterdam based social initiative, that connect newcomers and local makers to create job opportunities for the displaced. Together, they recycle life vests turning them into new objects, and most importantly, facilitating refugee integration with their host society. Makers Unite recently won the #RefugeeChallenge, organized by What Design Can Do, UNHCR and Ikea Foundation.

www.makersunite.eu

About The Refugee Nation

The Refugee Nation is the creator of the refugee flag. The life vest-inspired flag was designed by the refugee artist Yara Said during the Rio 2016 Olympics to represent the refugee athletes competing in the games and engage the world to support them. The refugee flag ended up transcending the Olympics and became a symbol of hope for 65 million displaced people worldwide. According to Yara, “orange and black is a symbol of solidarity with all these brave souls that had to wear life vests to cross the sea looking for safety in a new country.” The flag, which was considered to be one of the most headline-making designs of 2016 (Dezeen) was acquired a few months back by the Victoria & Albert museum in London.

www.therefugeenation.org

The Colorado Health Access Fund’s Year One Impact, Results Released In New Report

$40 million fund provided behavioral health services to 32,000 high-risk Coloradans; sustainability, geographic reach vital to future success

Press Release – Denver – On Thursday, March 16, The Denver Foundation and Colorado Health Institute jointly released “Building from the Baseline,” an evaluation of the Colorado Health Access Fund’s activity and impact in its inaugural year.

Founded at The Denver Foundation with an anonymous $40 million gift, the Colorado Health Access Fund (CHA Fund) seeks to increase access to behavioral health care statewide. From August 2015-September 2016, the CHA Fund distributed nearly $2.2 million to 28 grantees from across Colorado. “Building from the Baseline” is an analysis of results from that one-year period.

Prepared in partnership with the Colorado Health Institute (CHI), Colorado’s experts in health policy and evaluation, the analysis was designed to measure how well the CHA Fund is increasing access to behavioral health services across the state, and to measure how well it adheres to the donor’s intent. “Building from the Baseline” is the first of what will become an annual evaluation of the activity and impact of the CHA Fund.

“The CHA Fund is supporting important work at a time of major developments in the field of behavioral health in Colorado, including the opening of the National Behavioral Health Innovation Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; the implementation of the State Innovation Model; and the launch of a statewide crisis hotline championed by Governor John Hickenlooper,” says Christine Márquez-Hudson, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “The findings from this evaluation will inform how we progress towards goals in 2017 and beyond. They also advance the Fund’s objectives by contributing to a collective body of knowledge on behavioral health programming in Colorado.”

Some key findings from the evaluation:

  • The Fund provided nearly 32,000 Coloradans with access to behavioral health services.
  • In partnership with a wide range of community-driven programs, the CHA Fund addressed varied, specific, and local needs. Examples include telehealth projects in rural communities in Salida and southeastern Colorado, which reduced geographic barriers to treatment; substance use disorder services for Denver Public Schools students, provided by Denver Health; behavioral health services offered to seniors, via Senior Resource Center; and services offered in multiple languages for non-English speakers at Clinica Tepeyac, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Action Network, and Jewish Family Services.
  • Donor intent is being met by supporting programs that serve Coloradans with high health care needs and who are at risk of facing barrier to care.

“We found that the fund is generally on track to meet its mission of expanding behavioral health care access to Coloradans with high health care needs,” says Jeff Bontrager, Director of Research on Coverage and Access for Colorado Health Institute. “But despite the overall positive findings, grantees did cite some recurring challenges like finding and retaining behavioral health staff and financing their programs.

“Based on our evaluation findings, we made some recommendations,” Bontrager continues. “The intent of those recommendations is to help meet the intent of the donor, and to help grantees be successful.”

Among CHI’s recommendations:

  • The Denver Foundation should place even greater importance on where the behavioral health demand and need is greatest.
  • The Denver Foundation should work to set up programs for success by encouraging grantees to plan for long-term sustainability. The majority of grantees will need to strengthen their long-term sustainability plan. The Foundation should consider strengthening its assessment of grantee sustainability and scalability.
  • Grantmaking should represent all parts of the state.  The eastern plains are underrepresented at this time.

Click here for “Building from the Baseline,” the complete report

Click here for the executive summary

About The Colorado Health Access Fund

Providing behavioral health services in Colorado, especially in rural and underserved communities, is no easy endeavor. The Colorado Health Access Fund was created in 2015 with an anonymous $40 million gift as a Field of Interest fund at The Denver Foundation. The intent of the fund is to support programs/activities that generally increase access to health care and strive to improve health outcomes for populations in Colorado with high health-care needs. The fund will help to ensure health care services are equitably available to all Coloradans with high health needs by distributing the funds to organizations throughout the state. The Colorado Health Access Fund will distribute approximately $5 million per year through 2022.

Background: The CHA Fund’s Focus on Behavioral Health Care

Providing behavioral services in Colorado—especially in rural and underserved communities—is no easy endeavor. According to a 2014 analysis of the health care landscape conducted by the Colorado Health Institute and commissioned by The Denver Foundation, 15 of the 21 Colorado Health Statistic Regions included mental/behavioral health as a top local public health priority. Furthermore, mental and behavioral health care was cited as a community priority in every community dialogue conducted by CHI. Discussions with health and community foundations identified access to mental health and substance abuse as the most pressing issues statewide. For these and other reasons, the Colorado Health Access Fund is focused on increasing access to behavioral health treatment.

Overall, the Colorado Health Access Fund seeks to:

  • Reduce and remove barriers for Coloradans with high behavioral health care needs in accessing behavioral health care treatment.
  • Build on innovations and investments already in place around behavioral health care treatment and support strategies for sustainability within the communities.
  • Support treatment solutions that will benefit and meet the needs of the local community, as well as explore how those solutions could be replicated and/or scaled to meet the needs of communities across the state.
  • Widely share solutions and approaches that improve access to behavioral health care treatment, as well as openly convey “lessons learned.”

About The Colorado Health Institute

The Colorado Health Institute is a Denver-based health policy research organization that believes better information leads to better-informed decisions—and a healthier Colorado. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan. We are a trusted source of independent and objective health information, data, and analysis for health care leaders. Funding comes from the Caring for Colorado Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, The Colorado Trust, and the Colorado Health Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/.

About The Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2015, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $97 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.denverfoundation.org/.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Appoints Dr. Gwen Nichols as Chief Medical Officer

Press Release – Rye Brook, N.Y. (March 16, 2017) – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancer, announced it has appointed Gwen Nichols, M.D., chief medical officer (CMO). A physician and scientific researcher, Nichols has dedicated her career to advancing cures for cancers through a unique combination of clinical, academic and pharmaceutical experience. She will play a critical role in advancing LLS’s goal to find cancer cures and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.

Nichols will oversee LLS’s scientific research portfolio, patient access services and policy and advocacy initiatives:

  • Scientific Research: LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies, including a $49.3 million commitment to new multi-year research grants this past year alone. Nichols will be responsible for managing LLS’s diverse research grants program, which currently funds nearly 300 projects at renowned medical institutions around the world, and its Therapy Acceleration Program ®, which expedites treatments by supporting promising projects and clinical trials through collaborations with biotechnology companies.
  • Patient Access Services: As the leading source of free blood cancer information, education and support, LLS has helped more than one million callers through its Information Resource Center, a toll-free call center staffed with master’s level healthcare professionals, and has provided co-pay assistance to more than 73,000 patients. Nichols will also supervise the development and delivery of LLS’s vast array of support services for blood cancer patients, including its Information Resource Center, co-pay assistance program, educational resources, online patient community, support groups, and peer-to-peer programs.
  • Policy and Advocacy: Through its nationwide grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteer advocates, LLS advocates for policies to remove barriers to care. LLS helped secure oral parity legislation in 42 states and Washington D.C., ensuring that patients who obtain their cancer medications from a pharmacy and self-administer their treatments receive equal coverage to those who are treated the clinic. At the federal level, LLS played a critical role in helping to pass the 21st Century Cures bill. As part of LLS’s leadership and role as the voice for all blood cancer patients, Nichols will direct strategic public policy and advocacy agendas at the state and federal level, providing input from patients to help improve access to care and accelerate cures.

“With extensive experience providing care directly to patients and working in the research laboratory to study cancer treatments, Gwen will elevate our ability to lead the charge in advancing cures for blood cancers and improving the lives of patients and their families,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO.

Most recently, Nichols was oncology site head of the Roche Translational Clinical Research Center, where she worked to develop new cancer therapies, translating them from the laboratory to clinical trials. Prior to joining Roche in 2007, Nichols was at Columbia University for more than ten years, where she served as the director of the Hematologic Malignancies Program.

While at Columbia University, Nichols maintained an active clinical practice and received the prestigious honors of “Physician of the Year” from Columbia University and the “Humanism in Medicine Award” from the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Nichols trained in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and completed post-doctoral research and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she was an attending physician. She received her medical degree with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Nichols has served on numerous academic committees and board appointments throughout her career, including LLS’s Medical Advisory Board in 2004. She has published more than 40 publications, mostly focused on oncology, during her research career.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit LLS.org.

Sierra Club’s 125th Anniversary Trail Blazers Ball to Honor Shailene Woodley and Michael R. Bloomberg

Thursday, May 18, 2017 in San Francisco

Annual Fundraising Gala to Celebrate 125 Years of Sierra Club’s Work to Protect the Planet

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO (March 13, 2017) – On May 18, the Sierra Club – the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization – will celebrate its 125th Anniversary at the Trail Blazers Ball in San Francisco with Honorees Shailene Woodley and Michael R. Bloomberg. The event will celebrate the Sierra Club’s historic work at the federal, state, and local levels to protect millions of acres of our wild America and accelerate a just and equitable transition to a 100% clean energy economy.

The Sierra Club’s 125th Anniversary Trail Blazers Ball will be held at Innovation Hangar at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Event co-chairs are Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square CEO) and Guy & Jeanine Saperstein (former Oakland A’s owners). The Host Committee includes Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Emmy-nominated actor Thomas Middleditch, Facebook Sustainability Director Bill Wiehl, among other notables listed below.

Golden Globe-nominated actress and environmental activist Shailene Woodley will be honored for her powerful grassroots activism. “I’m proud to celebrate the Sierra Club’s 125 years of historic work to protect our air, water and climate in frontline communities across the country,” said Woodley. “We need their grassroots people power now, more than ever, as we fight at the state and local levels to keep our communities safe for all.”

The star of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” has been an outspoken opponent of the Dakota Access Pipeline, demonstrating alongside the Standing Rock Sioux and hundreds of other tribes and allies to fight back against the crude oil pipeline that threatens their drinking water, culture and livelihood.

Businessman, politician, and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg will be honored for his enduring commitment to combat climate change. “The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign has saved thousands of lives by cleaning the air we breathe and has helped America lead the world in reducing carbon emissions,” said Bloomberg. “The Sierra Club’s work is more important today than ever, and I’m honored to join in celebrating the organization’s 125 years of protecting the planet and the public.”

Through his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, he has partnered with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which has helped retire nearly 250 coal plants across the country. Bloomberg Philanthropies is also producing From the Ashes with RadicalMedia, a documentary about the legacy of the coal industry. He is also the co-author of Climate of Hope with Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Club. Bloomberg also advocated for cities to commit to ambitious climate-related goals as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. With 2.7 million members and supporters, and chapters in every state, the Sierra Club has achieved unparalleled results, and makes change happen for the better at the federal, state, and local levels. The Sierra Club’s successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Most recently, the Sierra Club made history by leading the charge on a just transition beyond the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption to 100% clean energy for all, including helping retire 250 coal plants across the country and working to secure commitments from 20 U.S. cities to transition to 100% clean energy.

Host committee members include Darren Aronofsky, Kathy Barry & Bob Burnett, Steven & Nicey Berkenfeld, Loren Blackford & Michael Dubno, Chuck & Debbie Frank, Gail & Roy Greenwald, Anna Hawken, Robert & Rosemary Heil, Alex Honnold, Kristin Hull, Thomas Middleditch, Paula Rantz, Kevin Vilkin, and Bill Weihl & Lisa Mihaly.

Sponsors include Do Good Events, Tompert Design, Immersive Environments, Blueprint Studios, and Betty Zlatchin Catering.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Dremel Joins Forces with ‘3D Veterans’ to Support STEM Education in K-12 Districts

Career program to train and place U.S. veterans in schools to inspire students to pursue STEM-related technologies

Press Release – MOUNT PROSPECT, ILL. (PRWEB) MARCH 15, 2017: The need to prepare students for tomorrow begins by preparing U.S. veterans and lifelong learners for today. Dremel, the manufacturer of digital fabrication tools for life and learning, is partnering with 3D Veterans, a training and veteran support organization, to provide veterans with sustainable and meaningful careers at Dremel in additive manufacturing. Through this 3D VetSquad℠ initiative, U.S. veterans are currently helping school districts implement the Idea Builder 3D printer alongside educators and students in California, Texas, Florida and New York.

“Through our partnership with Dremel, veterans will now have the unique opportunity to launch exciting new careers while continuing to be of service to their country by helping children master the job skills of the future,” said Michael Moncada, co-founder of 3D Veterans.

The 3D VetSquad℠ was developed with a grant and support from Google.org, VA Center of Innovation and America Makes for 3D Veterans to train unemployed and underemployed veterans for new careers in emerging technology. As this initiative expands, Dremel welcomes collaboration with organizations and districts passionate about helping the nation’s veterans and students.

“As part of our Memorandum of Understanding, VA Center for Innovation is excited to collaborate with 3D Veterans, Dremel and America Makes to help train veterans on 21st century skills, such as 3D printing, and allows them to gain access to impactful careers and to continue serving America’s schools and students,” said Andrea Ippolito, Innovation Network lead of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Current and future U.S. veterans enrolled in the 3D VetSquad℠ initiative will receive a Training Badge upon completion of a six-week boot camp program. Veterans earning their Training Badge will travel to schools nationwide to assist educators in setup, maintenance and everyday classroom use of the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printers.

“Veterans have provided a tremendous service to our country, and we want to honor that by supporting their transition back to civilian life,” said George Velez, manager of Dremel 3D Education. “We couldn’t be more fortunate to introduce these heroes to our nation’s students.”

As 3D printing technology continues to impact real-world applications of STEM learning in districts nationwide, educators and students will have the opportunity to strengthen educational experiences through hands-on training with the 3D VetSquad℠. In addition to the comprehensive lesson plans, one-on-one customer support and certification program available to Dremel customers, veterans will offer in-person support for educators who are implementing 3D printing technology to the classroom.

“The 3D Veterans program successfully advances and accelerates the adoption of 3D printing in the U.S., by meeting two core needs: providing job training and workforce skills to veterans and technical support to schools and educators. America Makes strongly supports this program,” said Leanne Gluck, America Makes deputy director of workforce and educational outreach.

To learn more about how the 3D Vet Squad is making a difference in the classroom, follow Dremel Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information about the Dremel Idea Builder, visit https://3dprinter.dremel.com.

About Dremel

Founded in 1932, Dremel is the industry standard in leadership and excellence for versatile tools systems. The Dremel 3D Idea Builder expands the brand’s reach from the workshop to the classroom to provide educators and students with cutting-edge technology for STEM education. Built upon the brand’s dedication to empowering makers through creativity, precision and project enjoyment, the Dremel 3D Idea Builder nurtures student confidence by giving them a tool to design and build their own models to understand lessons. With available curriculum to draw connections between 3D printing and instruction, Dremel is providing educators with the support they need to transform classrooms. Learn more about classroom applications and curriculum-based learning at 3dprinter.dremel.com.

About 3D Veterans

Founded in 2015, 3D Veterans is a veteran and minority-owned small business whose primary purpose is to provide training and job placement assistance to transitioning service members and veterans seeking careers incorporating emerging technologies. 3D Veterans has partnered with Google.org., the U.S. Veteran Administrations Center of Innovation and America Makes to develop customized training boot camps centered on the needs of employers in emerging technology-focused industries. In June 2016, the White House announced a partnership between the VA and 3D Veterans to train veterans on 21st century skills, such as human-centered design, to help veterans obtain future job opportunities and reintegrate back into their community.

Help INFINITI Raise Up To $700,000 In The Fight Against Cancer By Entering CBS Sports Round By Round Brackets

Press Release – FRANKLIN, Tenn. (March 10, 2017) – INFINITI will once again have a large presence throughout the ever-exciting NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. For the seventh year in a row, INFINITI will sponsor the CBS Sports Round by Round Bracket Challenge.

Beginning March 12, participants can enter each of the six brackets and for every correct pick, INFINITI will make a donation to Coaches vs. Cancer®. All participants will also be entered to win a trip to the 2018 Final Four®.

“As we cheer on our respective teams during March Madness®, we are also recruiting fans to join in the fight against cancer,” said Allyson Witherspoon, director of marketing communications and media, INFINITI USA. “We are continuously grateful that we can drive attention to the inspiring work of Coaches vs. Cancer as they unite coaches, players and fans in their mission to end cancer.”

Fans’ correct picks in the Bracket Challenge will drive INFINITI’s donation of up to $700,000 to Coaches vs. Cancer®, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer.

Fans are encouraged to return to the bracket and select their picks throughout the total of six competition rounds.

Participants can build their brackets beginning March 12 by visiting http://www.cbssports.com/INFINITI.

About INFINITI

INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. INFINITI plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.

INFINITI is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and innovative driver-assistance technologies. From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula 1® team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.

More information about INFINITI and its industry leading technologies can be found at http://www.INFINITI.com/. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

About NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals, members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. [NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.]

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog” Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.

Make A Difference Abroad During A Gap Year

Volunteer abroad as a worthwhile gap year option with Projects Abroad

Volunteers on the Shark Conservation Project in Fiji take part in a beach clean-up

Press Release – NEW YORK – March 15, 2017Projects Abroad offers volunteering programs that can make a gap year that much more worthwhile. Choosing to take a gap year after school is an option growing in popularity for many high school graduates, with travel usually being the major focus.

In 2016, 1140 gap year students went abroad with Projects Abroad, which was the most ever. These students represented 32 different nationalities and contributed 275,000 work-hours to cross-cultural exchange and impactful community projects. Project Abroad’s volunteering programs encourage self-development and facilitate work that significantly benefits communities in need.

A desire to explore a different part of the world, uncertainty in what career path to take, and wanting a break from formal responsibility before moving onto the next phase of life, are common motivating factors in choosing a gap year.

“Despite my initial plans to go straight into college, I decided to take a gap year and travel,” says Clea Arrieta, a Projects Abroad volunteer who participated on a Teaching Program in Ethiopia. “I grew, I learned, I opened my mind to more things than a year at school could have taught me. If you’re wondering if you should really do it, just do it.”

The following are some of the ways in which spending time volunteering abroad during a gap year can be beneficial:

Choose a career path

Some high school graduates may have a desired career path, but these are sometimes based on assumption without practical experience. Others might have greater uncertainty about a career, with there being many options available. By volunteering abroad participants can expose themselves to a field of study to help determine if it would be a feasible career option. Projects Abroad offers programs in Medicine, Law & Human Rights, Journalism, International Development, Veterinary Medicine, and more. The value of self-discovery in a gap year can have an invaluable impact on the average 40 years that somebody spends in the workforce.

Gain practical experience

For those who have already chosen a career path, or have a passion in a particular field, volunteering can be useful to learn from professionals by working with them. Gaining hands-on experience allows volunteers to build skills and is beneficial for adding work experience to a resume for college or employment applications.

Serve a community in need

Projects Abroad’s volunteering placements are in developing countries where the quality of life is often significantly lower than back home. Many communities face abject living conditions such as extreme poverty, heavy pollution, limited access to basic resources like education and healthcare, labor exploitation, and discrimination on various grounds. Whether it be on a Human Rights Internship in South Africa, learning about the education system in Peru, or witnessing first-hand the environmental issues faced in Cambodia, volunteers are guaranteed an eye-opening experience.

Become a Global Citizen

Projects Abroad runs programs in more than 30 developing countries around the world, some of which include Mexico, Belize, Ghana, South Africa, Peru, Thailand, Belize, and Fiji. By visiting another country, volunteers get to immerse in a way of life different from their own, making their time abroad culturally enriching.

Those who are on a gap year or still thinking about taking a gap year can know that with Projects Abroad, deciding to invest in travel, gain experience, and give back to those in need, will be a step in the right direction.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org.

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