CRESSON - Mount Aloysius College's Mercy Youth Initiative Program has received a grant for $5,000.
The grant was made through the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies' Community Initiatives Fund and is aimed at enhanced programming.
The Mercy Youth Initiative is sponsored by Mount Aloysius College with assistance from Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley's GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program.
Attendees of the Mount Aloysius College’s Mercy Youth Initiative Award Ceremony included (from left): front — Mercy Youth Initiative students Michaela Hudak and Quincy Wilmington, both from Penn Cambria; back — Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley; Angie Berzonski, communications and program officer at Community Foundation for the Alleghenies; Cassidy Graham, student mentee from Penn Cambria; Kimberly Franey, Mercy Youth Initiative program coordinator; Jessica Maxon, project manager for community engagement and social entrepreneurship for Mount Aloysius; Francis Hartnett, assistant program coordinator Mercy Youth Initiative; Sister Helen Marie Burns, RSM, vice president for mission integration at Mount Aloysius.
The collaborative mission of the foundation is to serve the best interests of its donors in perpetuating their philanthropic interest in financially supporting our community, using the foundation's integrity, accountability and community knowledge.
The initiative is designed to work with youth of promise who may need additional help as they near college age.
The Mercy Youth Initiative enables Mount Aloysius students to serve as mentors for these "youth of promise" in the region. Participating Mount Aloysius student-mentors are interested in working with youth.
Programs are held each month during the school year. Each monthly meeting includes a wellness/fitness session, a career exploration session, lunch and a mentorship session with the college student mentors and their mentees.
Sessions have included breast cancer awareness, financial literacy, college exploration, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, heart health, engineering and the law.
There is no cost to the student-participants. The program is free and supported this year by Mount Aloysius College, the Community Foundation grant, the Sisters of Mercy and other community partners.