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Provident Bank Foundation grants LCCC SEED program

The Lehigh Carbon Community College Foundation has received a $15,000 grant from The Provident Bank Foundation to support the Success, Engagement, Education and Determination (SEED) Program Scholarships for Students with Disabilities.

The SEED program was selected to receive the grant based on its impact on students and its mission to support students who need extra services transitioning from high school to college.

SEED offers intensive coaching, peer-support networks, and person-centered planning that increase capacity for success.

“The college’s SEED program is truly that, a seed that plants the values of access and inclusion into our programs for students,” said LCCC president Dr. Ann Bieber. “This comprehensive transition program gives students the intensive services they need to succeed in college.”

SEED helps students overcome challenges such as anxiety, social awkwardness, high frustration levels, lack of organization and self-management issues, that if unaddressed can derail the best efforts to succeed as a college student.

The college received the check during a presentation on Sept. 18 at the college’s Schnecksville campus.

Funds from the grant are expected to make the program more accessible to students from low to moderate income levels, specifically graduates of the Allentown School District.

The goal is to ensure that students with disabilities have the same chance to maximize their potential as college students and as employees, regardless of their ability to pay-out-of-pocket. SEED students receive comprehensive intentional services in addition to taking academic classes.

Scholarship awards are for $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000, depending on the student’s program track, impacting between six and 10 individuals.

SEED began in 2014 as a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. After the grant ended in 2016, LCCC established a student fee structure to cover program costs.

“The Provident Bank Foundation is honored to help further initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of residents in our local area,” said Jane Kurek, executive director, The Provident Bank Foundation. “We are pleased to support organizations that contribute to a sense of community and offer a diverse set of programs that make people healthier, happier and safer.”

The goal of the Provident grant is to support organizations that have identified an immediate need in the community and for the individuals they serve. The Provident Bank Foundation’s funding directly supports efforts to enhance the quality of life in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities served by Provident Bank through three funding priority areas: community enrichment, education, and health, youth and families.

Information on the SEED program: Michelle Mitchell, learning specialist and professor, mmitchell@lccc.edu, or LCCC.edu/SEED.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOFrom left: LCCC president Dr. Ann Bieber; Jane Kurek, executive director of The Provident Bank Foundation; college SEED students Ben Schorr and Lizzie Walters; Josephine Moran, executive vice president and director of retail banking, Provident Bank; Trevor Hart, vice president and market manager, Provident Bank, and Michelle Mitchell, director of the SEED program at LCCC.