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St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Awarded $7,500 by Bank of America

San Diego CA– St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization in El Cajon, CA, that educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential, has received a $7,500 grant from Bank of America.

The grant will be used to fund the Volunteer-to-Employment Training Services program that includes community-based individual employment, group volunteer and job sites, and/or participating in SMSC’s social enterprise ventures. The program operates on a year-round basis, and in 2017 employed up to 178 individuals out of the more than 400 adults with developmental disabilities at SMSC. The program is designed to help mitigate notoriously high unemployment levels experienced by people with developmental disabilities. With the additional coaching this program provides, the selected students are supported for a 12- to 18-month period. At the end, the students will have the skills needed to move on to individual job placements in the community.

“This grant will help us continue to find employment opportunities in the community for our students,” said Debra Emerson, CEO of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center. “Bank of America has been a wonderful partner.”

“By working with nonprofits providing workforce development and job readiness, we can help prepare people to be economically and sustainably self-sufficient. This is even more important for our friends and neighbors with developmental disabilities, a population with severe under and unemployment challenges. But thanks to the incredible work of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, more able San Diegans will be included in the workplace,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego Market President for Bank of America.

Emerson added, “Employment generates income and personal pride. Grants, such as this from Bank of America, support local workforce development programs, and are an important way for unemployed and underemployed people to get the educational and vocational tools they need to obtain and sustain a job.”

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