The Campagna Center Receives Generous SunTrust Foundation Grant

Alexandria, Va. – August 27, 2015 – The Campagna Center of Alexandria recently received a grant from the SunTrust Foundation in the amount of $25,000 to support their Building Better Futures 2015-2016 program year. The SunTrust Foundation contributes to the social, cultural and economic development of communities across the company’s markets. 

Building Better Futures is a program operated by The Campagna Center to serve primarily at-risk high school students in the City of Alexandria. For nearly 12 years, Building Better Futures has been in existence at T.C. Williams, Alexandria’s only public high school, to help stem the tide of too many students falling through the cracks educationally and socially. During the 2014-2015 school year, Building Better Futures served 134 students, with 82% falling qualifying for free/reduced price lunch. Curricular components of the College Leadership Program included visiting colleges, learning about applying for financial aid/scholarships, resume writing/interviewing skills, and community service projects throughout the year. Last year 100 percent of their regularly participating seniors applied to college, and 100 percent of those that applied were accepted.

“Now more than ever it is imperative that young people have access to people and resources that help them navigate the complicated landscape of life beyond high school, says Tammy Mann, President and CEO.  We are deeply grateful for grant provided by the SunTrust Foundation as we prepare to kick-off another successful program year.  We know this program is making a difference and recently had the great fortune of having a former graduate compete for an employment opportunity to serve as our Health and Nutrition Coordinator after having earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Sciences from George Mason University.”

Alejandro Villarroel is a graduate of T.C. Williams and was a participant in the Building Better Futures program several years ago. He says Building Better Futures was his first experience networking and learning to reach his full potential, and that he owes many of the skills he possesses today to the program.

“The amount of volunteer work and writing opportunities that I received through Building Better Futures is no doubt the foundation of which all my skills are based upon. I learned to appropriately and successfully interact with people....I learned the importance of effective networking…And most importantly, I learned the importance of continuing my education. Whether it was through applying and receiving scholarships, or using other resources to improve the quality of my school work, Building Better Futures set me up for success in continuing my education. I’m forever grateful for the help The Campagna Center gave me and it is exciting to be in a position where I can give back in a meaningful way.”

“The Campagna Center’s Building Better Futures program helps young people achieve greater success as they enter adulthood, and aligns with SunTrust’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being,” said Dan O’Neill, chairman and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Greater Washington/Maryland speaking on behalf of the SunTrust Foundation.  “We are pleased to provide this contribution to support delivering this practical knowledge and these important skills to high school students.”

This year, The Campagna Center will be consolidating their middle school program, formerly operated through a 21st Century Grant, as a part of Building Better Futures to create a program for 6th – 12th graders. In addition to Building Better Futures, The Campagna Center continues to offer Early Childhood programs, a K-5 program known as Campagna Kids, and the New Neighbors English Language Learners Program for adults.