A 21st Century Journalism Project

In Organizations on April 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Community Outreach

By Danielle Robits

The Community Action Organization of Erie County is an outreach program that helps local citizens with financial, household, and essential needs. The main objective of this organization is to help their clients through counseling and evaluation of each person’s situation.

This organization gives short-term assistance to those that need help finding adequate food, clothing or housing. They also will assist customers with rent, mortgage payment and small household repairs if needed.

In order for people to receive services from CAO they must go through an assessment to determine their need. Along with an assessment, services are also contingent upon budget availability. The Community Action Organization also provides services in several other areas as well. These areas include finding jobs, Head Start, drug rehabilitation and youth services among others.

The CAO tries to create an environment where their clients feel respected, safe and loved. This is reinforced by their mission statement

This organization values the education of Erie County youths so much that they have setup a scholarship fund for college bound students. CAO has put together a team of individuals with varying professional backgrounds to decide which students should receive these scholarships.

This team is uniquely called The Education Task Force. Their job is to “encourage, recruit and assist students with exploring post-secondary education options.” (http://www.caoec.org/2012.pdf) Even though many scholarships are given out each year to several deserving students’ priority is sometimes shown to those that intend to schools where they are underrepresented in the population or financial need.

Those wishing to receive this scholarship must have a clean school record. Applicants also have to be working toward a high school diploma or GED. Students interested in this scholarship are required to show evidence that they have good grades and test scores.

Hopefuls also have to obtain two letters of recommendation from a teacher and an employer or coach. Finally, applicants are supposed to write essays describing how they will use their education to improve their community. The Task Force will choose 10 scholarship recipients this year.

Winners of this scholarship will receive 1,000 dollars toward their educational goals.





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