Expanding Education Program

Expanding Education Program

In the photo from left to right: Don Doyle – President/CEO, Webster Five; Sam Bitar - Executive Director of the Webster Five Foundation and Business Analyst, Webster Five; Heidi Stolgitis – Genesis Member, Genesis Club, Inc.; Kevin Bradley – Executive Director, Genesis Club, Inc.

The Webster Five Foundation announced that as part of its Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, it will donate $2,000 to Genesis Club House, Inc. Genesis Club aims to assist adults recovering from mental illness and help them reach their greatest potential. The organizational structure follows the Clubhouse model. This allows members to access a variety of programs such as job skills development, health and wellness, affordable housing, social engagement, and education support.

Webster Five’s Web of Caring to Make a Difference program reinforces the bank’s long-standing initiative to give back to the community by supporting local organizations that are making a difference. The intention of Genesis Club align with these goals, as mental illness can be a serious challenge to those looking to complete a degree. 65% of students diagnosed with a mental illness will withdraw from their courses as a result. This lack of education can lead to a difficult and impoverished life, due to unstable employment. By providing those recovering from a mental illness with the opportunities they need to complete their education, Genesis Club is helping them as both individuals and contributing members of the community.

The Education Support Program aims to help members identify their individual educational goals, and take the necessary steps to achieve them. The need for assistance exists at many different points of the education experience, particularly for young adults. Finishing their degree can be particularly challenging because they are at a highly transitional point in their lives, combined with the after-effects of mental illness. The program provides many different services to meet the needs of the variety of entry points, such as guidance identifying goals, assistance with applications and education selection, on-going support on-campus and in the community while enrolled, and employment support near graduation. With the help of these growing programs, the semester completion rate for members has steadily increased over the years.

Donald F. Doyle, president and chief executive officer of Webster Five, stated, “Genesis Club House, Inc. is bringing the chance for a brighter future into our community to those who have struggled mentally. Webster Five is proud to support their mission to ensure that these individuals are able to attain the education they need to successfully move forward with their lives.”

Thomas J. Pier, President of Genesis Club House Inc. said “We are so grateful to Webster Five for their support. Their contribution is essential to help us expand our Education Support Program and make a difference to as many recovering adults as we can.”

About Web of Caring to Make a Difference

Web of Caring to Make a Difference is a bank-wide community program created by Webster Five as a tangible means for the bank as an organization and its employees as individuals to make a positive impact by supporting local organizations that also are making a difference. Through the Webster Five Foundation, the program has donated more than $2 million dollars to various local nonprofit organizations for programs that support expanding and improving access to education, culture and the arts, social services, charitable activities and community development. Requests for funding through the Webster Five Foundation are reviewed by the board of directors and are awarded to established 501(c)(3) organizations in the above sectors that qualify.
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