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SunTrust Foundation Announces Winners of its "Lighting the Way" Award for Financial Literacy

Eight local non-profits each receive $50,000 grant

Nov 16, 2016

ATLANTA, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To recognize non-profits for the positive impact they make building financial confidence in their communities, the SunTrust Foundation awarded eight organizations with its inaugural "Lighting the Way" Award. Each organization received a $50,000 grant to support their programs dedicated to advancing financial education.

The SunTrust Foundation helps build communities by partnering with organizations that align with SunTrust's purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being. Since inception, the Foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Just last year alone, the Foundation gave $14.8 million in grants, 50 percent of which supported financial well-being and education initiatives.

The Lighting the Way Awards, totaling $400,000, were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Project Community Connections, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
  • Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh, NC)
  • Lighthouse of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
  • Capital Area Asset Builders (Washington DC)
  • The Center for Technology, Enterprise & Development Center (Delray Beach, FL)
  • Family Foundations of Northeast Florida, Inc. (Jacksonville, FL)
  • PARC (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Goodwill Industries of the Valleys (Roanoke, VA)

"The Lighting the Way Awards were developed to recognize local organizations for their efforts in making a measurable impact on financial education," said David Fuller, president of the SunTrust Foundation. "We are truly committed to helping people move from financial stress to confidence and know that by supporting organizations with the same goals, we can make a difference in people's lives."

Winners of the Lighting the Way Awards were selected through a nomination process. SunTrust Foundation board members and the local leadership teams nominated organizations based on set criteria: (1) ability to provide programs that support financial well-being, (2) program services and how those services are delivered, (3) total number of people served through the program in 2015, (4) program cost per client and other measures of efficiency, (5) measureable program outcomes, such as completion rate. Once the winners were chosen, they were invited to an award event hosted by the SunTrust Foundation.

Project Community Connections, Inc.: Since 2009, PCCI has re-housed thousands of men, women and children into permanent housing settings that meet their particular needs for location, price, and accessibility. The organization was selected as a Lighting the Way Award winner for the positive impact their rapid re-housing program has had in helping homeless individuals and families reestablish themselves in the community and find a place to call home.

Wake Technical Community College: For the past four years, Wake Tech's Center for Financial Education has led a comprehensive campaign to raise financial capabilities and promote financial well-being by offering workshops that cover areas of money management, including credit, budgeting, entrepreneurship, financial psychology, banking, and investment basics. Last year alone, the center serviced more than 500 people and helped them take a step toward financial confidence.

Lighthouse of Central Florida: Lighthouse Works was established five years ago as a program dedicated to providing those who would otherwise be unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce entirely with the confidence and ability they need to earn a living wage. Through the Lighthouse Works program, individuals who are blind and visually impaired are able to receive job training, employment and career opportunities. 

Capital Area Asset Builders: CAAB's Matched Savings Program empowers low-and moderate-income residents to take control of their finances, increase their savings and build wealth for a better future. Since 1997, the Matched Savings Program has worked to ensure all local residents have opportunities to save and invest in their dreams. Currently, more than 2,000 people are enrolled in the program and have successfully reached their savings goals.

The Center for Technology, Enterprise and Development: The TED Center's Florida Women's Business Center has provided thousands of women entrepreneurs with counseling, mentoring, training, resources, referrals and support to help increase their chances of success. At the center, women have access to ongoing counseling sessions that are tailored to their specific needs and hosted by seasoned business owners and corporate professionals.

Family Foundations of Northeast Florida, Inc.: Family Foundations has helped over 120,000 families take control of their financial future, buy a first home, pay off debts and restore their credit by offering credit counseling and financial education classes to its residents. These classes help families become wiser and more confident as they learn to manage their money and secured their financial future.

PARC: Through its Life Skills Development Financial Literacy Project, PARC helps prepare individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be self-sufficient and capable of living their life to their fullest potential. Since 1953, the organization has served more than 800 children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Tampa Bay area.

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys: The Reality Check Program offered by Goodwill Industries of the Valleys helps young adults – particularly middle and high school students – learn how to make positive financial decisions. The Goodwill Reality Check initiative is an interactive program that puts students in real life situations and asks them to make financial choices. Last year alone the program had over 30 schools and approximately 4,600 students participate in the program.

About SunTrust Foundation

The SunTrust Foundation is dedicated to the company's purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial empowerment, but also include education, health and human services, civic improvement and cultural growth. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $100 million throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.

For further information: Suzanne Vincent, (404) 813-7162