Micaela Ryan on her experience as a 2016 ambassador:
"When I was first presented with an opportunity of advocacy through the Ascienzo Family Foundation, I was absolutely thrilled. As a student at Boston College, I participated in the Pulse program throughout my sophomore year. This program, designed to immerse students within the greater Boston area through service, allowed me to serve twice a week at a community agency close to my school. In doing so, I was provided with the perfect opportunity to have access to, and a connection with, a location in my own community that would benefit from advocacy.
During the past year, I served weekly at Crossroads Family Center, a family homeless shelter located in East Boston. This shelter focuses on entire family units and offers a multitude of programs for its residents. While residing at Crossroads, residents are offered support through case management, stabilization services, and food pantry support. Through serving consistently within this community, I was granted a unique opportunity to identify areas where grant funds would best benefit the residents.
When applying for a grant on behalf of Crossroads through the Ascienzo Family Foundation, I was extremely appreciative of all of the guidance and assistance provided by the board of directors. With example grant proposals and other resources at my fingertips, I felt heavily guided throughout the entire grant process. After presenting a proposal for funds to provide bedding to incoming residents and kitchen supplies to residents at the end of their stay, it was wonderful to be able to receive the materials during my year of service. While the fall was a time of proposing ideas, the spring allowed me to physically package the different grant materials and see the residents take advantage of such resources. It was such a meaningful experience to be involved in the grant process from start to finish and to be able to see first hand the impact of the foundation on an important community in my life."
Brittany Mosher on her experience as a 2015 Ambassador:
"I believe that the work volunteers do is immensely important, and I know that everyone reading this agrees. It’s why we spend some of the valuable time and energy that we can carve out of our busy lives to help others. I also believe that there are times when donating one’s time is not simply not enough to make the kind of difference we want to make. The Ascienzo Family Foundation gave me the chance to be a benefactor, in addition to a volunteer, for a group that I believe is incredibly deserving.
I volunteer weekly with Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC). My dog Sheeba and I are trained as an animal therapy team, and we work with counselors and at-risk students in elementary schools to help the students succeed. I feel passionate about this cause because I believe that my success as a child in Red Hook set me on a path that affords me a wonderful adult life. Can you imagine if your future was in jeopardy because of a home life or disability that impeded you as a child? These are the children we help.
When I was named an AFF Ambassador, I immediately knew that I wanted to work with HABIC to write a grant. I contacted HABIC’s director, Georgia Granger, and we sat down together so that I could give her some history and details about the potential funding (she now desperately wants to meet Mr. A). It was a great feeling to ask Georgia, 'If you had $5000 of extra funding this year, how would you use it?' Georgia did not answer that she needed a new computer, travel money for volunteers, or any material object. She said that she would use the money to provide scholarships for HABIC services to schools that could not afford the program fees on their own. These low-income schools, she told me, are often the ones with the most children in need of our help."
Megan Sanger on her experience as a 2015 AFF Ambassador:
I kept in touch with Lacey the whole time, making sure that she knew I was available for help if ever she needed it. When it came down to the actual week of the camp, I had an unforeseen issue arise that did not allow me to attend the camp and interact with the girls. However, after getting in touch with Lacey immediately following SAM camp's completion I was able to learn that the implementation of the scholarships and supplies was a huge success! It was also awesome to see all of the photographs that Lacey had shared of the girls' experiences, knowing that I had a small part in the positive experience that those campers had!"
"When learning that I would get to advocate for a certain group and receive funding for them through the Ascienzo Family Foundation, the Oakwood Friends School SAM camp was one of my first thoughts. This camp's desire to spark interest in the sciences among middle school aged girls is something that I find very important as a math teacher and someone who has always had interest in the sciences. I thought that by trying to get a few additional supplies and scholarships for girls who could not otherwise afford the camp I could address both the education and poverty targets of the foundation.
Going through the process of writing the grant was easy to do thanks to samples that the foundation provided for the other ambassadors and myself. Not only did the foundation readily accept my proposal, but they actually suggested that I ask for more money for the camp! This was very rewarding to hear and the head of the camp, Lacey Fredericks, was thrilled with the news that we had indeed gotten the grant.