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Groundwork Hudson Valley receives $100,000 grant from KeyBank Foundation for Youth Leadership and Sustainability Education Program Expansion in Yonkers

YONKERS, NY. – February 12, 2024 – Groundwork Hudson Valley and KeyBank announce a two-year $100,000 grant from KeyBank Foundation, the bank’s charitable non-profit, to support the expansion of Groundwork’s Youth Leadership and Sustainability Education Programs. Specifically, the funding will provide out-of-school education for Yonkers NY Public School K-6 students to visit the Science Barge, a floating sustainability education center, to supplement the school system’s science curricula; it will also support the award-winning Green Team, a program that provides paid part-time jobs to Yonkers Public High School students to build their leadership skills and gain hands-on skills in environmental conservation, climate risk mitigation, and community engagement.

“We at Groundwork Hudson Valley are immensely grateful for partners like KeyBank who are committed to creating positive and lasting change and who provide resources to organizations like ours to propel our mission forward for Yonkers youth,” shared Oded Holzinger, Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Executive Director. “This partnership with the KeyBank Foundation exemplifies how we can come together to lay the groundwork and empower our youth to have the knowledge and skills to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.”

Founded in 2000, Groundwork Hudson Valley (GWHV) creates sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity. GWHV has been working in southwest Yonkers, one of the most socioeconomically and climate vulnerable communities in the region, to create a more environmentally just community. Projects they have undertaken include the restoration of thousands of linear yards of riparian forest, the creation of conservation jobs for local youth in the community, the daylighting of the Saw Mill River, and the creation of the award-winning sustainability education center, the Science Barge, anchored 30 feet off the downtown Yonkers waterfront. Most recently, GWHV has received funding to design and execute a high school-to-career program in urban forestry that will serve as a model for other school districts across the nation.

“The work that Groundwork is doing with the Yonkers Public School System is impressive and offers a strong model for creating environmental stewardship opportunities for underserved youth throughout the Hudson Valley and across our country,” said KeyBank Market President John Manginelli. “Bringing sustainability education to elementary schoolers and creating conservation jobs for teens not only benefits our youth but helps create a ripple effect for real environmental change in our neighborhoods. KeyBank is proud to support their educational program expansion.”

KeyBank’s grant to Groundwork is part of the bank’s $40 billion community investments plan focused on economic access and equity to communities across the country. The scope of the plan includes investments and lending in affordable housing, home lending, small business lending, green initiatives, and transformative philanthropy targeted toward workforce development, education, and safe, vital neighborhoods for underserved communities and populations.

About Groundwork Hudson Valley:
Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit working with communities to improve climate resilience and adaptation, promote sustainability education, and nurture the next generation of environmental leaders. For more information visit

About KeyCorp/KeyBank:
KeyCorp’s roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $188 billion at December 31, 2023. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,200 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC

About KeyBank Foundation:
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive, and its mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures. The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.

Groundwork Hudson Valley: Candida Rodriguez | 914-375-2151 |
KeyBank: Karen Crane | 203-789-2752 |

PHOTO CAPTION: Leaders from Groundwork Hudson Valley and KeyBank met at Barack Obama School for Social Justice in Yonkers with school administration and students. Pictured from left: Candida Rodriguez, Director of Community Engagement and Communications, Groundwork Hudson Valley; Dr. Michelle Yazurlo, Assistant Superintendent for Professional Development with the Yonkers Public Schools; Ellen Theg, Chief of Operations, Groundwork Hudson Valley; Andrew Hara, Principal, Barack Obama School for Social Justice; Maria Bassallo, Manager, KeyBank White Plains Branch; Analisha Michanczyk, Corporate Responsibility Officer, KeyBank; Karen Tumelty, Director of Development, Groundwork Hudson Valley; Joel Rodriguez, Sustainability Education Manager, Groundwork Hudson Valley; and Zoe Camhi, Sustainability Education Associate, Groundwork Hudson Valley.

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