How communities will gain from $680K in SC Foundation grants

Volunteering is one way Santander Consumer USA (SC) contributes to the communities in which we live and work.

The Santander Consumer USA Foundation is another.

With grants totaling $680,000 in the second quarter of 2019, the foundation will help with workforce development in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and Denver, CO, financial education in DFW, Denver and Phoenix/Mesa, AZ, and economic development in Phoenix/Mesa.

SC Foundation provided $644,000 in grants to community organizations in the first quarter.

Volunteer gets a hug
Santander Consumer USA Foundation and City Year have been “key allies” in Dallas and Denver.

“The Foundation has prioritized opportunities for impact as well as employee engagement around important issues such as financial literacy and workforce development,” said Suzanne Massey, Foundation vice president, citing, among other grants, renewal of commitments to City Year and Junior Achievement and a new commitment to the YWCA’s “Own It” financial program.

“Our community investments go to provide economic mobility for those most in need, in the communities in which we live and work, allowing us to connect more closely with our communities.”

“We extend the Foundation’s impact by encouraging all Associates to use VPTO benefits with grantee and other non-profit organizations,” Massey added.

Grant recipients generally appreciated what one official, Jennifer Sanders, executive director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance, called a “powerful vote of confidence” from Santander Foundation for the grantees’ efforts to assist under-served communities.

The Q2 grants will go to the following organizations:

City Year

Grant amount: $215,000

Purpose: Workforce development

Locations: DFW and Denver

Grant purpose: Provide City Year team support and training to deliver “Whole School, Whole Child” student intervention model in one school in each area during the 2019-20 school year. Funding covers two teams of full-time, school-based AmeriCorps members.

Feature: Renewal of successful partnership, volunteer engagement opportunities

City Year comment:

“Support from the Santander Consumer Foundation will allow highly trained AmeriCorps members to work full time in two under-resourced schools in Dallas and Denver where they will serve as tutors, mentors and role models to hundreds of students. Santander Consumer volunteers have been key allies in City Year’s work in both markets by providing resources and participating in service projects that help our partner schools succeed, and by training over 75 AmeriCorps members in crucial financial literacy skills that will set them up for their future goals. City Year is very grateful for the Santander Consumer Foundation’s support and looks forward to another fruitful year of partnership.”

– Liz Galaz, national manager, corporate programs

Seed Spot

Grant amount: $100,000

Purpose: Economic development

Locations: Phoenix/Mesa

Grant purpose: Support entrepreneurial program that serves 75 early stage entrepreneurs in the Phoenix area, with 60 percent representing underserved founders. Grant funding will support recruitment efforts, program implementation costs, a Launch Camp and an 8-Week Impact Accelerator program that culminates in a Demo Day for 15 entrepreneurs.

Feature: New relationship with volunteer engagement opportunities

Junior Achievement

Grant amount: $100,000

Purpose: Financial education and inclusion

Locations: DFW, Denver and Phoenix/Mesa

Grant purpose: Support programming such as JA Biztown in Dallas, JA Finance Park Rocky Mountain, JA Biztown in Phoenix, Dallas Business Hall of Fame and administrative costs. The grant provides financial education programming to students in schools with 51 percent low-to-moderate income.

Feature: Renewal of successful partnership, volunteer engagement opportunities

Junior Achievement comment:

“Junior Achievement relies on significant partnerships like SC Foundation to provide the funding and the volunteers to support program implementation. The funding in this grant for middle and high school JA kids in Denver, Dallas, Mesa and Fort Worth will change the lives of over 2,000 kids. This will provide skills, knowledge and confidence that will take JA youth from a position of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can!’”

– Jeanette Lee, vice president, development


Grant amount: $100,000

Purpose: Workforce development

Locations: DFW

Grant purpose: Support workforce development program at El Centro College for 120 students. Program comprises about six months of classroom-based training designed to equip participants with technical skills for roles in high-demand in the region, such as information technology and business.

Feature: New relationship with volunteer engagement opportunities

Dallas Innovation Alliance

Grant amount: $70,000

Purpose: Workforce development

Location: DFW

Grant purpose: Support purchase and conversion of a bus into a mobile learning lab, with programs including employment applications, workforce training programs, financial aid and literacy, accessing public benefits electronically, and digital literacy for seniors.

Feature: New relationship including monthly volunteer engagement opportunities

Innovation Alliance comment:

“This grant is instrumental for the mobile lab, because it allows us to follow through on a commitment to promoting access to opportunity for people at all stages in their lives – young people who need support to succeed in school or to enter higher education or gainful employment, people looking for new or additional employment, people who want to learn more about online banking and access to services, and people who want to safely experience the interconnected digital world in which we live.”

– Jennifer Sanders, executive director

Work Options for Women

Grant amount: $60,000

Purpose: Workforce development

Locations: Denver

Grant purpose: Support culinary skills job training program for disadvantaged individuals, especially women who are preparing to re-enter the community following incarceration. The program includes case management, life-skills training, behavioral therapy and job-search assistance. Funding includes purchase of a food truck that will provide 24 internship opportunities per year.

Feature: New relationship with volunteer opportunities


Grant amount: $35,000

Purpose: Financial education and inclusion

Location: Phoenix/Mesa

Grant purpose: Support the “Own It” education program which will serve 875 women and youth with financial literacy programming to populations where 85 percent of participants fall at or below the federal poverty level. Four-week curriculum includes money management, overcoming obstacles, creating a spending plan and understanding credit and financial institutions.

Feature: New relationship with volunteer opportunities for financial professionals

YWCA comment:

“The YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix is honored to be a grant recipient from Santander Consumer USA. This grant will help us to elevate the lives of financially disadvantaged women and youth throughout our community, creating long-term impact and security.”

– Mary Beth Gregory, director of marketing and communications

These grants help change lives, according to JA’s Lee, who told the story of a 14-year-old Denver student who lived with her baby and mother. “She came to her JA volunteer, clutching her papers from JA Finance Park and asked if she could keep them … [because] she was going to teach her mother how to do a budget so that she, her mom, and her baby would have a better life!”

To learn how $644,000 in Q1 foundation grants went to work in various communities, see Making a difference takes many shapes for Santander Consumer, volunteers.

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