Press Releases


Albany, NY, December 16, 2016--Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar’s Schenectady seniors recently received a December surprise thanks to the generosity of ADNET Technologies and Intel. The ten college-bound Scholars received laptop computers to aid in their college success plans.

Robin Christenson, executive director of Sponsor-A-Scholar said: “We are thrilled that ADNET and Intel invested in our promising Scholars.”

Jeff Cohn, principal of ADNET said: “Helping students achieve growth and success is fundamental to our beliefs.  Education is a lifelong gift and we are pleased to support these Scholars.”

Toshan Mohabir, a senior at Schenectady High School who hopes to attend SUNY New Paltz, said: “I love my computer. It means so much to me to know that someone is helping me to succeed. I am so excited to go to college.”

Scholars Receive December Surprise

Contact: Marcy Stengel
Director of Development and Communications
Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar
(518) 935-1047
mstengel@crsas.org


Albany, NY, November 30, 2016—Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar recently welcomed three new board members: Kevin Bottini, Denise Gorman and Travon T. Jackson.

Geraldine Golub, chair of the Board of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, highlighted the new additions: "Each of these individuals brings heartfelt commitment to our mission, and unique strengths and skills to our board.  We are pleased to welcome these new board members to our organization."

Kevin Bottini is a longtime Capital Region resident, and is a Partner with the local certified public accounting firm, Knapek, Gabriele and Bottini, LLC. He has served on several other local nonprofit boards and is active with the Community Reformed Church of Colonie.

Sponsor-A-Scholar Welcomes Three New Board Members

Contact: Marcy Stengel
Director of Development and Communications
Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar
(518) 935-1047
mstengel@crsas.org

 

Denise Gorman is a community advocate and volunteer, currently serving on the board of the Albany Institute for History and Art.  She mentors two students enrolled in the Sponsor-A-Scholar program and is a dedicated supporter of the program.

Travon T. Jackson is an alumnus of the Sponsor-A-Scholar program. He graduated from Troy High School in 2011 and he graduated from Morehouse College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in both Urban Planning, and Economics. Travon currently works as the Managing Director of BlueLight Development Group.

All three new members have committed to a three-year term of service.


Sponsor-A-Scholar Enhances College Access Programming Thanks to Local Investments
Contact: Marcy Stengel
Director of Development and Communications
Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar
(518) 935-1047
mstengel@crsas.org

Albany, NY, November 17, 2016—Thanks to grant funding from Bank of America, The Bender Family Foundation, Fenmiore Asset Management, John D. Picotte Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar is enhancing its college access programming for selected students in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Proceeds from the organization’s Duck Derby fundraiser earlier this fall also provided key resources for the program developments.

Robin Christenson, executive director of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, highlighted the impact on underserved students: “Sponsor-A-Scholar improves the lives of local students by empowering and inspiring them to succeed in high school, college and life. We are deeply grateful for the assistance from our generous donors to enhance our Pathways to College program by helping us to increase the number of colleges our Scholars will visit in the coming year, improve our tutoring program and expand our career exploration activities.”

“At Bank of America, we are committed to helping young adults learn new skills that can have a meaningful impact on their futures,” said Jennifer MacPhee, Bank of America Market President for the Albany & Hudson Valley region. “We are proud to support Pathways to College and the work that Sponsor-A-Scholar is doing to help change the lives of young Scholars who are motivated to learn.”

Jeff Yule, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, noted “We are proud to partner with Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar and support their incredible work in our community. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the coming years as we continue our work to improve the health and wellbeing of our region’s children.”

Additional funding opportunities are available for individual, foundation and corporate donors at a range of donation levels. For more information about Pathways to College, contact Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications at 518-935-1047.


Albany, NY,  September 30, 2016—The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be released tomorrow, Saturday, October 1st. This move aims to help more students and families to make informed decisions about college financing, and will make the application process easier for students and families. With $180 billion available in federal aid this year, it is important that every student, especially low-income and first-generation college students, complete the FAFSA.

Robin Christenson, executive director of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, highlighted the impact on underserved students: “Sponsor-A-Scholar supports the efforts of every student to fulfill their promise through higher education, and we applaud the continued efforts to make federal funds more accessible to the students who need it most.”

The FAFSA is the first step for any student to access both federal and state aid for higher education. With a new, streamlined form, more students will be able to access the funds provided. The updated timetable will also make it easier for students to assess the costs of college while also developing a list of priority schools.

High school students, parents of high school seniors and college students should confer with a tax professional, high school guidance counselor or college financial aid staff to complete the form right away. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first served basis.

Early FAFSA gives Students and Families More Time to Prepare for College
Contact: Marcy Stengel
Director of Development and Communications
(518) 935-1047
mstengel@crsas.org


Albany, NY, August 18, 2016 – Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar announces the 2016 Duck Derby at Washington Park Lake on Saturday, September 17th. Festivities begin at 10am, with the duck race starting at 11:15.

The event will feature an exciting rubber duck race, with 5,000 ducks speeding through the lake to earn one lucky duck a $1,500 cash prize provided by Sunmark Federal Credit Union.  Attendees can also take part in the Back2School fest with fun family activities, food and live music to kick off the new school year!

Robin Christenson, executive director of Sponsor-A-Scholar says: “We are pleased to host this fun community event to help all students begin the school year. The funds we raise through the Duck Derby will provide college visits, tutoring and other key services for our Scholars.”

Lisa Totaro, marketing manager of Sunmark Credit Union added: “Sunmark is thrilled to be a partner of the Sponsor-A-Scholar Duck Derby. We’re even more excited that the funds raised will support the Sponsor-A-Scholar programs and help make the goal of a higher education a reality.

To adopt a duck in the race, visit www.duckrace.com/albany or visit any local branch of Sunmark Credit Union. Duck Adoption papers are also available at Dali Mamma Cafe in Albany, NY, JCC of Schenectady in Niskayuna, Route 20 Café & Newstand in Guilderland, Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy and at Sponsor-A-Scholar’s offices at 1 United Way, Albany, NY.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the more than 230 local Scholars enrolled in Sponsor-A-Scholar’s college access and success programs. The Duck Derby and Back2School Fest is sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, The Times Union Classroom Enrichment Program, WEXT, All Over Albany, Aquatic Development Group, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bomber’s Burrito Bar, CDPHP, Price Chopper/Market32, NAI Platform,  Stewart’s Shops and Wolff’s Biergarten.

Sponsor-A-Scholar Announces 2016 Duck Derby, Splashing into Washington Park Lake on Saturday, September 17th.

Contact: Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications
(518) 935-1047
mstengel@crsas.org


Albany, NY, July 22,2016—Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar received a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region. Funds will support Sponsor-A-Scholar’s Pathways to College program, which provides local Scholars with college visits in their junior and senior years of high school.

Sponsor-A-Scholar’s executive director, Robin Christenson said: “We are deeply grateful for the assistance from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region to enhance our Pathways to College program by helping us to increase the number of colleges our Scholars will visit in the coming year. Pathways to College improves the lives of local students by empowering and inspiring them to succeed in high school, college and life.” 

 Jeff Yule, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, noted “We are proud to partner with Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar and support their incredible work in our community.  We look forward to continuing our partnership in the coming years as we continue our work to improve the health and wellbeing of our region’s children.” 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region Supports Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar’s Pathways to College with Grant

Contact: Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications
mstengel@crsas.org
518-935-1047


Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar salutes Pamela Sawchuk Brown, celebrates 200th College Graduate

Contact: Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications
mstengel@crsas.org
518-935-1047

Albany, NY, May 31, 2016— Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar salutes Pamela Sawchuk Brown with 2016 Founders’ Award on Thursday, June 2 at the Italian American Community Center.  

Sponsor-A-Scholar honors the contributions of Pamela Sawchuk Brown, area communications professional and vice president for community development at Albany Medical Center. Ms. Sawchuk was the leading force in working with Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar to launch a career exploration program at Albany Medical Center for selected Albany High School students interested in health care careers earlier this year.

Robin Christenson, executive director of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar notes, “Sponsor-A-Scholar transforms lives by breaking down barriers that have historically excluded low-income, first-generation-to-college students from college education attainment. Ms. Sawchuk Brown is a major contributor to our work and we are deeply grateful to her.”

Andrew Matonak, Ed.D, the president of Hudson Valley Community College, and a member of Sponsor-A-Scholar’s Board of Directors, will deliver the keynote address. His career in higher education administration was shaped by his decision to attend Butler County Community College in Pennsylvania following high school. He wanted to ensure other students had the same opportunity for success that was afforded to him.

Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar will also honor its 200th college graduate at the celebration. More than 200 area students, most of whom are the first in their families to attend college, have earned two-or four-year degrees thanks to academic guidance, mentoring support and financial assistance from Sponsor-A-Scholar. Many Scholars have gone on to earn Master’s degrees, and our graduates work locally as teachers, financial professionals, engineers and researchers. Two alumni currently serve on the organization’s Board of Directors.

The June 2nd event recognizes 23 local high school students who have completed the three-year college preparatory portion of the program; it also celebrates 28 college graduates who have earned their associate or bachelor’s degrees this year.

Darlene Senat, member of Siena College’s class of 2016 says, "The confidence I gained from Sponsor-A-Scholar helped me to graduate from high school and earn a college degree. Knowing someone was there for me made all the difference."

Graduation will take place at the Italian American Community Center 257 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany on June 2 at 5:30pm.


Albany Medical Center Opens Doors to Albany High School Students Enrolled in Capital Region Sponsor­-A-­Scholar Program

Contact: Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications
mstengel@crsas.org
518-935-104

Albany, N.Y., March 16, 2016 ­­ Capital Region Sponsor­-A­-Scholar has partnered with Albany Medical Center to introduce Albany High School students to the many careers options in science and medicine.

Earlier this year, Albany Med and Sponsor­-A-­Scholar began a monthly series of in­-depth workshops for a select group of students to delve into specific areas of health care. On March 16, the students visited the Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center (PSCCC) at Albany Medical College – a 12,000-­square-­foot, state-­of­-the-­art facility which houses a collection of simulation and clinical training resources to educate medical students and other health care workers.

The unique experience of visiting the PSCCC allowed the students to get hands-­on experience in medical education. Participating students worked with life­-like mannequins and other training tools as they consider the pursuit of a career in medicine.

Students were selected for the partnership based on their academic abilities, leadership potential and career interests. A majority of the student participants will be the first in their families to attend college. As part of the program’s development, Sponsor-­A-­Scholar staff worked closely with students and Albany Med staff to tailor a series of workshops and opportunities based on students’ academic and career interests.

Pamela Sawchuk Brown, vice president of community development at Albany Medical Center said: “We are very pleased to begin this partnership with Capital Region Sponsor­-A-­Scholar as part of our continued commitment to the community and our specific interest in supporting Albany’s students. We are pleased to open our doors to these dedicated scholars.”

Robin Christenson, executive director of Capital Region Sponsor­-A-­Scholar said: “It is exciting to be able to offer this opportunity to our Albany students who are inspired by their studies of science and medicine. We hope that this experience helps to open their eyes to the many rewarding careers they can pursue in the health care professions.”

The partnership is now in its third month and will continue through May.


Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar Names New Executive Director

Contact: Marcy Stengel, Director of Development and Communications
mstengel@crsas.org
518-935-1047

Albany, NY. September 23, 2015 -- Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar named its third Executive Director, longtime area resident and nonprofit professional Robin Christenson. Robin brings 30 years of fundraising and nonprofit management experience to Sponsor-A-Scholar along with a deep commitment to social justice. 

Board Chair Geraldine Golub said: “After a thorough search, we are thrilled to have chosen Robin to lead Sponsor-A-Scholar. Her broad experience in the not-for-profit sector, and her enthusiasm for our mission makes Robin a perfect fit for our organization.”

Robin added: “Sponsor-A-Scholar just completed another of its 19 extraordinary years. It provides hope, incentive and opportunity necessary for students to complete high school and earn a college degree. At this exciting time in its history, I am honored to help lead the way when Sponsor-A-Scholar’s work has never been more needed.”

Robin will begin work with the organization on Monday, September 28th.