Johnson College Offers Program to OVR High School Students

Johnson College is offering an Automotive industry-driven career exploration experience to high school students enrolled in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). This program will be held from July 26 through August 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Johnson College campus and industry partner locations. Students will have an opportunity to dive into a college experience and develop skills to prepare them for success on and off a college campus. They will also receive exposure to the automotive industry. 

The second week of the program will run from 9 a.m. to noon and will take place at different industry partner locations allow students to shadow local automotive industries and gain first-hand knowledge and experience.

For more information and to register, email Tim Frank, Academic Program Specialist at Johnson College, at This event is free for students enrolled in the OVR program.

Johnson College Immersive College Experience Program

Johnson College is offering an Immersive College Experience to high school students enrolled in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). This program will be held from July 19 through July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Johnson College campus. Students will gain knowledge about the college application process, financial aid, how to succeed on and off a college campus, and will participate in STEM activities.

The interactive STEM activities will provide a learning experience that fosters creativity while teaching invaluable technical skills. They will include an introduction to programming, robotics, coding, and other aspects of STEM.

For more information and to register, email Tim Frank, Academic Program Specialist at Johnson College at This event is free for students enrolled in the OVR program.

Telespond Senior Services Awarded $13,000 to Support Senior Companion Program

Telespond Senior Services accepted a $13,000 award from the PNC Foundation to support seniors at risk of isolation in northeastern PA. Funds will be used within Telespond’s Senior Companion program, which has faithfully served the Lackawanna County community for over 40 years. Last year, 87 Senior Companions provided over 240 clients with socialization, recreation, and non-medical daily living assistance.

The award will continue to support companions’ in-home engagement with seniors and will enable expanded and continued engagement through letter-writing and phone call campaigns through the COVID-19 pandemic. This program aims to alleviate burdens of isolation that have become especially prevalent for older adults due to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generosity of federal funders and organizations including the PNC Foundation, the Senior Companion program remains completely free to the older adults it serves while providing volunteers with a small stipend for their services. To learn more about the Senior Companion program, visit

Effective Communication Strategies Program by the Alzheimer’s Association

Effective Communication Strategies is a program provided by the Alzheimer’s Association® that explores how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s disease. By the end of the program, attendees will be able to:  

  • Explain the communication changes that take place throughout the course of the disease.
  • Decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and respond in ways that are helpful to the person.
  • Identify strategies to connect and communicate at each stage of the disease. 

Please join us for “Effective Communication Strategies” on Tuesday May 18, 2021 from 10:00am-11:00am

Hosted by: Second Family Memory Care Center

The program is a “Virtual Zoom” meeting. Attendance is free but registration is required at this link or call our 24/7 Helpline for registration assistance 800-272-3900.

Once you register, a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to your email a few days before the program. 

NET Credit Union Launches Indirect Lending

NET Credit Union recently hired Indirect Lending Manager, Kim Kramer, to begin our Indirect Lending Program. Kim has previous experience working in the program’s industry at other financial institutions. Indirect Lending will help increase both our membership and loan portfolios.

NET Credit Union’s personalized service, next day funding and competitive rates are just a few reasons why dealerships should enroll in our Indirect Lending Program. Indirect Lending offers the convenience to our prospective and existing members to sign all of the required loan documentation at the dealership without making a trip to the branch. Our team of experienced lenders are ready to help get your cars off the lot and into our members’ driveways. To learn more about our Indirect Lending Program or contact Kim with questions, visit

Greater Scranton YMCA Launching E-Sports Program

With a goal to promote teamwork, leadership, online safety, and individual growth steeped in YMCA Youth Development practices, the Greater Scranton YMCA is proud to announce its participation in the national Y’s E-Sports program.

The Y is made up of people from all backgrounds working side by side to strengthen communities. We are committed to advancing equity for all in everything we do so that everyone—regardless of who they are or where they come from—has an opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. The E-Sports program will be another pathway for the YMCA to empower youth and teens to reach their full potential by providing them with access to nurturing environments, enriching experiences and support systems that reduce barriers and strengthen cognitive, physical and social-emotional development.

Registration is open for the program, which will be comprised of NBA 2K, Super Smash Bros. and Rocket League. Each league can serve up to 50 children in middle and high school. Registrants will make up the Greater Scranton YMCA team, which will compete against other YMCAs across the country. Interested participants will need to have the ability to play on a PC, Xbox, PlayStation or Switch. In its pilot session, there will no cost to participate in the program, which is open to existing YMCA members and non-members (in future sessions, registration fees will apply).

“The YMCA is excited to launch this new program as we continue to evolve to find ways to keep kids engaged with one another virtually during COVID,” said Wayne Stump, Branch Executive Director, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Not only do E-Sports require teamwork, communication, critical and strategic thinking, creativity, sportsmanship and leadership, but they also help kids develop friendships and provide an educational opportunity through developing STEM skills that can help with a future career path.”

Similar to in-person youth sports leagues, E-Sports will be held in eight-week sessions, with practice and games held twice per week. The program will run from April 5th through May 28th. The middle school group will practice and compete on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and the high school group will practice and compete on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Yearly league championships will lead to regional championships, which will then lead to the national championship. For more information, contact Wayne at or (570) 828-3266. To register, visit

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week – Preparing tomorrow’s workforce!

For years we’ve supported a program that arms high school students with the tools to be our next great employees – Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). PFEW brings together students and businesspeople for a powerful hands-on learning experience where students are immersed in the exciting world of modern business and free enterprise. The goal is to properly prepare our young people for the demands of the 21st century workforce.

At PFEW, students make the same decisions real executives make as they run a simulated manufacturing company. Each team is paired with a volunteer business mentor who imparts invaluable real-world perspective as they explore all facets of business operations and develop the skills that today’s employers seek. Teams are responsible for two judged presentations where they must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of all facets of business operations. The week is highlighted by Speakers delivering inspiring messages directed at the students’ personal and professional development. An ethics case study, other business-related activities and the college experience round out this exciting week. Since 1979, more than 46,000 young Pennsylvanians and countless PA companies have benefitted from this unique program.

There’s no more urgent work than preparing our young people for careers in our community, but why PFEW? In the words of 2019 PFEW graduate Brina Cartagenova: “This week at PFEW will resonate with me for years to come, for it is an eye-opening experience for Pennsylvania youth. Arriving as wide-eyed, eager children and leaving as empowered, confident leaders, PFEW students go through an academic cultivation like no other.” Brina describes PFEW perfectly – cultivating our next great generation of empowered, confident leaders. No other model educates students like PFEW, and that’s why we proudly support it.

Every student attends PFEW on a fully tax-deductible $625 sponsorship donated by a business, foundation, organization or individual, but real value of PFEW is immeasurable. I encourage you to provide these vital sponsorships for our local students and, if possible, volunteers for the sessions. FFEE is an approved Educational Improvement Organization through the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, and all programs are eligible to receive EITC funding.

FFEE offers two additional programs that prepare students for success and provide incredible value to our young people and our business community. The Stock Market GameTM (SMG) teaches students in grades 4-12 about investing and financial literacy, and the Speaker Series helps students explore careers and fulfill state mandated Career, Education and Work (CEW) standards. All Foundation programs have one goal in mind – preparing our young people for successful careers in Pennsylvania. If you would like to learn more about PFEW or their other educational offerings, please visit the Foundation’s website,, or contact Scott Lee, vice president of marketing & development for the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education at (814) 833-9576 ext. 8, or

NEPA Health Care Foundation Announces Rollout of Careers in Care Initiative

During a time where the strains on the healthcare workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania have been significant, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation announces its timely rollout of the Careers in Care program. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the administrator of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation’s Careers in Care initiative—which focuses on developing the regional pipeline of the healthcare workforce and the growth and development of the nursing workforce in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties—will provide a combination of grant funding and scholarship support to help move the needle on these critical areas. Careers in Care is a $1.5 million commitment over a three-year period (2020-2023).

“The Foundation’s Board understands the strains that the regional healthcare workforce is facing and,  through the Careers in Care initiative, strives to make an impact to address these critical issues,” said James Clemente, NEPA Health Care Foundation Board Chair. “Over the past year, we have seen just how timely this really is.”

Through Careers in Care, the NEPA Health Care Foundation will provide grant support to a variety of organizations. These include Lackawanna College, for its three-year plan to enhance the pipeline of local healthcare professionals and increase the number trained and retained in the region; United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA for its Upward Economic Mobility Program, partnering with Johnson College to offer a workforce development program for unemployed and underemployed individuals interested in obtaining technical certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Medical Assistant—two high-demand health careers; and Johnson College, to establish a mobile training laboratory providing hands-on experience to teach students what it is like to work in the healthcare field. Additionally, the Foundation will fund the Greater Hazleton Partners in Education’s Career Pathways to Health Care Program, designed to promote learning about health science and medical professions for middle school students, where discussions will be led by health care professionals from the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The Careers in Care initiative will also provide funding to support the Children’s Service Center for their scholarship program addressing the lack of racially diverse behavioral health professionals; Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) to increase healthcare career awareness and work-based learning placements for regional high school students; and Saint Joseph’s Center for direct support professional wage increases. 

In addition to grant funding, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is establishing a $700,000 nursing scholarship program through the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which is targeted to support the growth and development of the nursing workforce in NEPA. The Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program will begin accepting applications in early March 2021 and will be open to students with demonstrated financial need who plan to pursue or who are pursuing nursing and who will practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania. An announcement in early March will provide detailed instructions on how students can apply through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online portal.

“These scholarships will provide the much needed financial support to students who may otherwise not have been able to further their education,” stated Director of Nursing and Associate Professor of Practice at Marywood University, Dr. Theresa Tulaney, PhD, MS, RN, GCNS. “In addition, it will allow students to focus on their education instead of having to work many hours to alleviate difficult financial situations,” she added.

The rollout of the Careers in Care initiative comes after the completion of a regional listening tour which the Foundation conducted from May through September of 2019.  The NEPA Health Care Foundation conducted 30 site visits across the region to determine the health workforce challenges from the perspective of multiple healthcare providers, colleges, universities, vocational schools, agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, and how the Foundation could best make an impact.

“It was clear from discussions during our listening tour that there is a great demand for nurses at all levels. Supply is just not able to meet demand,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. She continued, “It was also clear that the development of the regional health workforce pipeline needs to continue to start earlier with students.” The Scranton Area Community Foundation administers the NEPA Health Care Foundation.

Additional details about the Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program will be released in early March 2021.

In addition to the Careers in Care initiative, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is also in the seventh year of a $3.2 million commitment to the Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School (GCSOM) for scholarship support for incoming first year medical students from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.  The NEPA Health Care Foundation Scholars program covers full tuition for these scholars, who indicate a commitment to practice medicine in Northeastern PA.

Scranton Area Community Foundation to Launch Special Grants Program

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is launching a special funding opportunity to provide critical, emergency grants to address needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Scranton Area Community has received a $100,000 gift from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support those in the community experiencing hardship, and 501c3 charitable organizations in the Lackawanna County area can apply for grants up to $10,000. The Scranton Area Community Foundation, administrator of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, will accept applications for this grant cycle through the online grant management portal until Monday, February 1, 2021, accessible through the Foundation’s website,

“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation during this time when there are so many continued needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s President and CEO.

This special grants program is in addition to the regular Robert H. Spitz Foundation grants cycle which will begin in Spring 2021.

For more information on the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at

The Everhart Announces Upcoming Children’s Programs for Winter and Spring of 2021

The Everhart Museum announced today that registration is now open for the popular Everhart Minis and Junior as well as the newly created Creative Expression Lab. 

In partnership with Marywood University Art Therapy Department the Everhart Museum has created the Creative Expression Lab, inspiring kindergarten through sixth-grade artists to express creativity and imagination and explore social and emotional growth. Weekly themes will integrate social and emotional concepts such as empathy, respect, understanding of one’s emotions, and developing positive social interactions. The Creative Expression Lab is hosted by Dr. Ashley Hartman, Assistant Professor of Art Therapy, a board-credentialed art therapist (ATR-BC), and licensed professional counselor (LPC). Art therapists and students from Marywood University’s Art Therapy Program will develop and co-facilitate Studio Sessions.

Creative Expression Studio Sessions will occur at the Everhart Museum on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Winter Session runs from February 20th through April 3rd, and Spring Session from April 10th through May 22nd.  Member pricing is $35, and non-members are $40. 

Everhart Minis and Everhart Juniors will Explore Printmaking. 

Everhart Mini students (grades kindergarten through fourth) will have the opportunity to explore the art of composition and stamps used in printmaking. Students will learn what is unique about the variety of printmaking processes. Together they will explore artwork around them, their influence on their own artwork, how personal preferences and life experiences influence art, and how they can learn from past artists and connect what they learn into each individual creation. 

Everhart Junior students will be exploring composition, collagraph printmaking, and fashionable art. They will learn various art techniques and better understand the cultural and historical context of each artwork they view.

Sessions for both the Minis and Juniors are as follows: Winter Session Virtual Open Studio at 10:00 am each Saturday starting on February 13th through March 27th. Spring Sessions, which are hybrid, begin on Saturday, April 10th through Saturday, May 22nd.

Spring Session classes are hybrid and will be offered as kits with a live virtual component to all registered students. Limited on-site class seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis once COVID restrictions are lifted for Spring Session ONLY.

Kits are unique to the Everhart Museum and can be shipped (additional rates apply) outside of Lackawanna County. To subscribe to updates on classroom availability, contact Notifications will go out ahead of openings.

“The programs offered this winter and spring have great potential to enrich arts learning at home,” said Stefanie Colarusso, Director of Programs. “The minis and juniors classes will provide students with the technical skills needed to create a work of art, and the expression lab is a safe space for all learners to express themselves through active arts learning.”

Member pricing is $35, and non-members are $40 for both the Minis and Juniors. Kits are unique to the Everhart Museum and can be shipped outside of Lackawanna County. 

To Register for all programs, please visit “LEARN” on the Everhart Museums website at and click the link for member or non-member pricing.