Capital One Bank of Baton Rouge focused on education, small-business and workforce development and financial literacy when it selected this year’s nonprofits for its Investing for Good Awards.
Career Compass of Louisiana, Louisiana Resource Center for Educators and Southern University were each awarded $50,000 grants to be used over two years.
The Capital One Bank Investing for Good Awards makes not only financial support available for local nonprofits, but also leadership and management expertise, said Steve Lousteau, Capital One Bank’s Baton Rouge president.
“The reason is simple,” Lousteau said, in prepared remarks Tuesday morning in an announcement from LSU. “Nonprofits touch tens of thousands of lives in our region. They do great work, and their role in greater Baton Rouge is more important than ever.”
The bank received nearly 50 letters of intent from nonprofits from East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes, Lousteau added.
Career Compass works one-on-one with students to prepare them for college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.
“Additionally, we work with (school) districts,” said Julie Scott, executive director and program facilitator at Career Compass of Louisiana.
“Overall, since our inception, we’ve worked with over 20,000 students.”
“These funds are going to help us increase the services we can provide to East Baton Rouge Parish and Ascension Parish,” Scott added.
The newly formed Career Academy in Baton Rouge, operated by Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, will use its $50,000 grant to assist a school project that has students at the school choose a business project, develop a business plan and present it to a team of reviewers made up of members of the community, explained Nancy Roberts, executive director and CEO of the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators.
“We’re going to integrate this into cross-curricula projects,” she added.
The Career Academy Public Charter School just opened in the past week in the old Brookstown Elementary School and has four focus areas: allied health, manufacturing, culinary and hospitality or automotive repair and transportation. The school has 180 students at this point enrolled in grades nine and 10.
The school can enroll up to 200, Roberts said.
At Southern University, the Bank One grant money will be applied toward the school’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, operated by the Southern University Law Center. VITA provides tax assistance and legal services to the community.
Also, the grant money will be used to leverage other federal grant funds made available through the Asset for Independence, a program operated by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, which require a one-to-one match, said Alma Turner, director of the Center for Social research at Southern University.
“What we want to do is expand,” Turner said. “We have more demand than we have resources right now. And we’d like to leverage these dollars with additional dollars. We can expand our program.”
In partnership with member institutions, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas announced Tuesday it made $11 million in grants available for affordable housing projects in 2011. Louisiana received more than $2.4 million for 350 housing units.
Seven projects in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Eunice and Ville Platte were awarded $955,000 in affordable housing grant money.