UMass Amherst Awarded $15 Million to Lead Regional Transportation Center
AMHERST — UMass Amherst will lead the New England Region 1 consortium — one of 10 regional university transportation centers (UTCs) — for the U.S. Department of Transportation under a five-year, $15 million grant. The goal of the centers is to advance state-of-the-art transportation research, technology, and safety. The colleges and universities comprising New England’s Region 1 consortium led by UMass Amherst include the University of Connecticut, MIT, the University of Maine, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island, and Norwich University, as well as Bunker Hill and Holyoke community colleges. The UTC program has been congressionally mandated since 1987, and each consortium includes two- and four-year colleges and universities that form a unique center of transportation excellence on a specific research topic. There are five national centers, 20 Tier 1 centers, and 10 regional centers in the U.S. President Biden’s infrastructure package included $90 million in funding per year for the competitively selected UTC program grants. The DOT received 230 grant applications, which represents the largest number of applications ever submitted in the 35-year history of the UTC program.
AIC Launches Graduate Criminal Justice Program
SPRINGFIELD — Law-enforcement professionals looking to further their education can now get a master of science degree in criminal justice through American International College (AIC). The fully online program is designed to appeal to criminal-justice professionals looking to enhance their skills and credentials, as well as provide the next step for students completing their undergraduate degrees at AIC. The program is now accepting students for the summer 2023 semester, which starts Monday, May 22. The MS in criminal justice provides specialized knowledge of public policy, organizational management, and administrative processes, along with advanced graduate leadership and research training. In addition to foundational theories of criminology and criminal justice, students will explore policy design and implementation alongside emerging trends in the field. The program will provide the skills, knowledge, and practical experience needed to protect and serve the public through a wide range of careers, enabling students to develop as ethical and skilled decision makers in the various branches of criminal justice. The program offers students specializations including social justice and public policy, victim studies, executive leadership, homeland security, and intelligence studies. These specializations allow students to focus on an area of interest unique to their career goals. They can also serve as stand-alone certificates for those interested in enhancing their educational goals and learning activities that overlap across disciplines but remain connected by a single shared subject.
Hooplandia Partners with Local Boys & Girls Clubs
SPRINGFIELD — Hooplandia, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and festival making its debut at the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) in June, announced on Thursday that its philanthropic partner will be Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Western Mass. Hooplandia takes place June 23-25 and will be hosted by the Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Games will take place across more than 70 courts at ESE, and showcase games will be held at the Hall of Fame. As a community-forward, all-inclusive event, Hooplandia has vowed to donate $10 of every team registration to local Boys & Girls Clubs in support of the program’s mission and enrichment of the region’s youths. Additionally, Hooplandia has begun a partnership program with regional businesses to underwrite the cost of team registrations for young players from clubs throughout the region. Boys & Girls Clubs of America provide a fun, safe, and constructive environment for kids and teens during after-school hours. Community-based and led by professional staff, these programs offer students opportunities that allow them to succeed in school, develop leadership skills, and maintain healthy lifestyles.
LightHouse Holyoke Celebrates Transformational Youth Outcomes
HOLYOKE — LightHouse Holyoke, Personalized Education for Teens, recently celebrated its annual Raise Your Glass event at Mill One at Open Square in Holyoke. LightHouse is a personalized middle- and high-school alternative now in its eighth year in downtown Holyoke. LightHouse maintains an innovative collaboration with Holyoke Public Schools through Opportunity Academy, where students earn credit toward a Holyoke High School diploma in a program modeled after University Without Walls at UMass Amherst. The partnership allows a limited number of Holyoke Public School students to attend LightHouse along with privately enrolled students. LightHouse is accredited through the New England Assoc. of Schools and Colleges. At the annual Raise Your Glass event, speakers included musician, performer, and LightHouse graduate Nehemiah Caradwyn; Liam Russell, a current privately enrolled student and graduating senior; and Damasco Santiago, father of Jhaydon Santiago, also graduating this year, who is enrolled through the LightHouse partnership with Holyoke Public Schools.
Citizens Gives Nonprofits $397,000 in Financial-empowerment Grants
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Fifteen nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts will receive a total of $397,000 from Citizens through the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program. The initiative helps strengthen communities by supporting programs, through direct funding as well as volunteerism, that give people the resources they need to be financially healthy and inspire them to pursue their goals. The announcement comes during Financial Literacy Month, a nationally recognized campaign that raises awareness of the need for more financial-literacy education. Through Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money, the bank will provide $2 million in contributions to 150 nonprofits across the communities it serves. This years’ recipients in Massachusetts include two in Western Mass.: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts and Way Finders Inc. Other recipients include ACT Lawrence Inc., Camp Harbor View Foundation Inc., Centro de Apoyo Familiar, Council for Economic Education, Economic Empowerment Trust Fund, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Inc., Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership Inc., Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Children’s Museum, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing Inc., Urban Edge Housing Corporation, and Dress for Success Boston Inc.
Girl Scouts Receive $10,000 Grant from Davis Foundation
EAST LONGMEADOW — Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) announced it received a $10,000 grant from the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation in support of It’s a Girls World, one of the community-based programs it offers. The afterschool program engages Hampden County girls in grades K-6 in STEM, financial literacy, and health and personal-wellness topics. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a collection of engaging, challenging, and fun activities for girls to develop a strong sense of self, display positive values, seek challenges, learn from setbacks, form and maintain healthy relationships, and learn to identify and solve problems in their community. The support of contributors such as the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation makes this possible. The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation supports a variety of nonprofit organizations seeking to improve quality of life for those living in Hampden County.
Revitalize CDC Seeks Volunteers to Help Rebuild 12 Homes
SPRINGFIELD — Revitalize CDC’s #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild is back after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19. This year, a total of 12 homes in Springfield’s Memorial Square neighborhood — owned by low-income families with children, aging adults, military veterans, and people with special needs — will be worked on by 1,000 volunteers and more than 100 supporters. In addition, vacant lots will be cleaned up and Calhoun Park improved. Volunteers return each year from Maine to Virginia and work alongside the residents of Springfield. Families who benefited from past #GreenNFit events volunteer to help their neighbors on the next block. Revitalize CDC focuses on making meaningful improvements on homes to help reduce energy use, save money, and create a safe, healthy, and sustainable living environment for residents and the community. Improvements include installing or retrofitting HVAC systems to allow for a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, such as solar conversions; new roofs; energy-efficient windows, doors, and appliances; water-saving plumbing fixtures; electrical upgrades; mold remediation, lead abatement, and pest control; interior and exterior painting; and modifying homes for aging or disabled homeowners, such as building exterior access ramps. Revitalize CDC is still seeking donations, sponsors, and volunteers. Visit www.revitalizecdc.com for more information, the current list of supports, and to register.