On July 19, 2017, District Council 30 awarded its first ever PATCH Foundation Grant to Communities in Schools of Aurora, or CIS Aurora, following an extensive grant application review process that took place throughout the spring. CIS Aurora is a non-profit organization that provides necessary student services and after-school programming to help children successfully learn, stay in school, and prepare for a rewarding future. By collaborating with public schools and local community organizations, CIS Aurora is able to address a variety of social, environmental, health, and academic needs of students throughout Aurora, Illinois.
CIS Aurora plans to use the funding to launch a college and career readiness program in middle schools throughout the Aurora, Illinois, school district. Through a variety of interactive lessons, students participating in the new program will explore career options while also learning about the college application process and financial aid opportunities. “What stood out about their program was their inclusion of alternative postsecondary education opportunities available through apprenticeships, vocational trades, and certifications,” details Ryan Anderson, District Council 30 business manager/secretary-treasurer. “Programming of this nature implemented at the middle school level will prove to be essential in addressing our nation’s labor shortage.”
DC 30’s PATCH Foundation Grant was developed to assist organizations that work to make an impact on a local level. The grant is awarded to organizations seeking funds to develop new programming that will address a specific need relating to children within the community. Non-profit organizations within the jurisdictional boundaries of DC 30’s North-Central Illinois territory are eligible to apply. DC 30 plans to award one PATCH Foundation Grant in the amount of $10,000 each year.
The 2017 PATCH Foundation Grant application cycle launched on January 1, 2017, and collected almost 30 applications. “Reviewing each applicant’s program proposal was a very rewarding experience,” shares Anderson. “It’s encouraging to learn about the innovative approaches organizations are taking to affect positive change within our community, and we feel honored that a contribution from the IUPAT PATCH Fund can make a difference.”
DC 30’s newly launched grant program was made possible through the formation of a local CORE initiative, and subsequent CORE Advisory Council, adopted in the fall of 2015. The CORE Advisory Council, which consists of union members and DC 30 staff, played an integral role in developing the new grant program, and was an active participant in the grant application review process. The $10,000 grant award was funded through DC 30’s 2016 CORE fundraising initiative, which consisted of a cash raffle and a community event and fundraiser, the first annual PATCH Run with the Lion 5K.
District Council 30 would like to thank the following CORE Advisory Council members who participated in the grant review process: Aaron Anderson, Ryan Anderson, Michael Arnold, Aimee Arvayo, Stephen Baker, Todd Dotson, Mike Doyle, Beth Ernest, Mandy Jo Ganieany, Walter Herrera, Steve Kulovits, Mike LeGood, Arturo Martinez Jr., Brandon McCauley, Rafael Nunez, Dave Panico, John Penney, Marisa Richards, Juan Rostro, and Gerry Slowiak.