First Niagara Kicks Off 2010 Mentoring Matters Program

First Niagara kicks off 2010 Mentoring Matters with $500,000 funding available in Upstate New York and first-ever student mentoring essay contest.
By: First Niagara Bank
Aug. 26, 2010 - PRLog -- BUFFALO, N.Y.—First Niagara Bank launched its 2010 Mentoring Matters program today with $500,000 funding available in Upstate New York and by announcing its first-ever student mentoring essay contest to reinforce the importance and showcase the positive impact mentoring has on the lives of today’s youth.

Now beginning its fourth year, Mentoring Matters provides critical funding and volunteer support for mentoring efforts conducted by non-profit organizations throughout Upstate New York.

For the 2010 edition, First Niagara has introduced the student mentoring essay contest, which  is open to sixth grade students who are involved in mentoring programs and enrolled in schools in the counties where First Niagara serves throughout Western, Rochester, Central and Eastern New York.

Student essay contest winners will receive $5,000 for their school, a $500 savings bond for themselves, and a starring role on a national First Niagara television advertisement along with other great prizes. Interested students can visit to begin the essay contest process. The deadline for student essay submissions is October 1, 2010.

“We want to hear from those students that have been guided by a mentor,” said Daniel E. Cantara, First Niagara Bank Western New York Regional President. “By getting them involved in the mentoring celebration, we hope to encourage others to participate and help support mentoring programs.”  

Celebrating its fourth year, Mentoring Matters will also top the $2 million total grant mark in 2010, positively impacting more than 13,000 youth through more than 150 organized mentoring programs in Upstate New York.

The 2010 program will provide $500,000 to eligible not-for-profits throughout Upstate New York. The maximum grant awarded is $25,000. The minimum grant awarded is $5,000. Interested organizations can visit to begin the grant application process. The deadline for not-for-profit grant submissions is October 1, 2010.

“Mentoring can have a tremendous impact on the future of a young adult.  Through our Mentoring Matters program, we are able to make a difference in a child’s life by supporting the inspiring achievements made by non-profit organizations actively involved with mentoring,” commented Cantara.

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About First Niagara: First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., has $21 billion in assets, 255 branches and $14 billion in deposits. First Niagara Bank is a multi-state community-oriented bank with about 3,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses. Upon completion of its pending merger with NewAlliance Bancorp, Inc. -- subject to customary closing conditions including approvals from regulators and shareholders -- First Niagara will have more than $29 billion in assets, $18 billion in deposits and 340 branches across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit

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