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ASPIRE Program at RI Foster Parents Association named Champion in Action in the financial literacy category

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

Providence, R.I.               (July 14, 2009) - Citizens Bank, Rhode Island and NBC 10 today named the ASPIRE Program at RI Foster Parents Association in East Providence as their 2009 third quarter Champion in Action® in the financial literacy category. As part of the award, RI Foster Parents Association will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work.

The grant will be used to support the association’s ASPIRE (Aligning Savings, Permanency, Information, Resources and Empowerment) program. Since 2005, RI Foster Parents Association has used the ASPIRE program as a pathway to financial literacy for youth in foster care.  ASPIRE’s mission is to support the growing needs of underserved Rhode Island youth from ages 14-24 by leading them on the path to economic self-sufficiency.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to name the ASPIRE Program at RI Foster Parents Association as the newest Champion in Action in the financial literacy category,” said Joseph J. MarcAurele, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. “I am especially impressed with how the ASPIRE curriculum teaches youth how to effectively manage their money and become knowledgeable consumers.” 

“NBC 10 is proud to honor the exceptional work of the RI Foster Parents Association. This organization successfully transitions youth to adulthood through unique and innovative programs,” said Lisa Churchville, President and General Manager of NBC 10.

Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and NBC10, launched seven years ago, to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Rhode Island communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service topics.

A winner for the fourth quarter 2009 Champion in Action in the violence prevention category will be announced in October 2009. Applications for the remaining 2009 topic can be obtained online at www.citizensbank.com/community.

RI Foster Parents Association is being recognized for:
• Teaching more than 240 youth across Rhode Island how to effectively manage their money and become knowledgeable financial
   consumers.
• Providing these youth with a matching savings account up to $1,000 a year for their life goals.
• Helping youth achieve self-sufficiency through mentoring, leadership development and internship opportunities.

As a Champion in Action, RI Foster Parents Association will receive:
• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens Bank.
• Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and television profiles.
• Volunteer support from Citizens and NBC 10 employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the “Champion in Action” in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and NBC 10 Web sites.

“Many youth in foster care assume adult responsibility at the age of 18 without the emotional and financial support of a family.  The ASPIRE financial literacy curriculum provides youth with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully transition to adulthood,” said Lisa Guillette, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Foster Parents Association.  “Our selection as a Champion in Action provides an incredible opportunity to work with Citizens Bank and NBC 10; bringing critical endorsement to the ASPIRE Initiative while raising awareness regarding the needs of youth in foster care.”

Prior Rhode Island Champions in Action to date include: Bayside Family Healthcare in North Kingstown, the House of Hope in Warwick, The Providence Black Repertory Company in Providence, the Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation in Woonsocket, McAuley House in Providence, TechACCESS in Warwick, Sojourner House in Providence, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation in Pawtucket, Rhode Island Free Clinic in Providence, The Genesis Center in Providence, the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, New Urban Arts in Providence, West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation in Providence, Tides Family Services located throughout the state, Community MusicWorks in Providence, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, Welcome House of South County in South Kingstown’s Peace Dale neighborhood, Franklin Court Independent Living in Bristol, RiverzEdge Arts Project in Woonsocket, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council in Providence, The Institute for the Study and Practice for Nonviolence in Providence, Church Community Housing Corporation in Newport, Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island in Providence, Youth in Action in Providence, Molar Express in Cranston, Everett Dance Theatre of Providence, and Olneyville Housing Corporation.

To learn more about how to contribute through donations or volunteerism to RI Foster Parents Association call (401) 438-3900.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 77 branches and 151 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $167 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).  

About NBC 10

WJAR-TV/DT is the most watched television station in the Providence-New Bedford television market and NBC 10 News is Southern New England’s leading news station. WJAR was first launched as a radio station in 1922 and then became the market’s first television station in 1949. WJAR-TV/DT is owned by Media General, Inc.

About Media General

Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal, 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets currently include 30 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 33 percent of the television households in the Southeast and more than 10 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.