First Niagara Receives "Ignite Award" For Commitment to Mentoring

First Niagara Bank is pleased to announce they have received the “Ignite Award” from Boston-based Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) in recognition of the bank’s commitment to youth mentoring.

Mass Mentoring Partnership is a non-profit organization that works to expand quality mentoring relationships to young people across Western Massachusetts. The Ignite Award is presented annually to a company or organization that displays excellence and innovation in their efforts to support youth mentoring. The Ignite Award was given to First Niagara at MMP’s annual Corporate Mentoring Summit in January.

“First Niagara is proud to support Mass Mentoring Partnership and its efforts to bring valuable mentoring programs to the youth of Western Massachusetts,” said First Niagara Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Gurney, who accepted the award on behalf of First Niagara. “We are honored to receive this year’s Ignite Award and look forward to continuing to support the mission of this dynamic organization.”

Over the past three years, First Niagara Foundation, the charitable foundation of First Niagara Bank has contributed $200,000 in support of MMP, including a $50,000 grant in 2014. First Niagara’s support for MMP has allowed the organization to establish a mentoring hub in the Greater Springfield area and create marketing campaigns to raise local awareness of the need for mentors and to increase the number of youth served through direct program support in Western Massachusetts.

“First Niagara has been a tremendous champion and supporter of mentoring and of Mass Mentoring Partnership. Their unwavering commitment has allowed us to help our partner programs connect more at risk-youth with caring adults in our area,” said Marty Martinez, President of Mass Mentoring Partnership.

In addition to the First Niagara’s support of MMP, the bank has also donated more than $6.25 million to nonprofits and mentoring programs in its four state footprint (NY, PA, CT and MA) over the past six years through the Mentoring Matters℠ program. Mentoring Matters was launched in 2007 with the goal of supporting organizations that help children improve their grades and school attendance, build self-esteem, and avoid the dangers of substance abuse.