MINNEAPOLIS – Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday presented checks worth $180,000 in grants to 17 Twin Cities-area nonprofits whose missions span a variety of focuses, from education to employment readiness training.
The grants were awarded through the bank’s Community Funding Council which funds onetime, non-recurring expenses of up to $12,000 for area non-profits with a focus on leadership and career development.
Joe Ravens, the Minnesota Region president for the San Francisco based bank and its senior vice-president for Community Banking said during a check presentation ceremony in Minneapolis that the bank always looks at how “we strategically impact the community,” and believes Tuesday’s funding will do exactly that.
Ravens, during a question and answer session from the non-profit leaders in the room said the large employers in Minnesota, of which Wells Fargo is a part of, are keenly focused on the educational achievement gap that exists in the state. Raven sits on the board of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Among the recipients Tuesday was Minnesota Kenyan International Development Association (MKIDA) which received the maximum grant of $12,000.
At Tuesday’s ceremony, 17 organizations received grants ranging from a low of $4,550 to the maximum $12,000. Non-profits receiving grants through the bank’s Community Funding Council must have a minimum of three years of proven accomplishments and outcomes.
MKIDA, which focuses on improving the educational, economic and cultural welfare of Kenyan-Americans in the state plans to use the funding to develop a youth career networking and mentorship program that is split into two parts, a face to face option and an online option to accommodate the busy schedules of youth and the adult mentors. The funding will also be used to build a secure website for the online mentorship and networking portion of the program.
“We are grateful to Wells Fargo and its staff for this grant and for believing as we do in the community we serve. MKIDA will deliver and we look forward to serving more in our program,” said Paul Morande, MKIDA executive director, after the check presentation ceremony.
With over 20,000 employees in Minnesota, the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo which has roots in the land of 10,000 lakes is the state’s third largest private employer.
About Tom Gitaa Gitaa
Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.
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