LitNet Accepting Applicants For Scholarship For New Americans

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LEE, Mass. — Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) is now accepting applications for the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Scholarship for New Americans.
 
The scholarship, funded by a grant through the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Fund, provides financial support to individuals who are ready to apply for U.S. citizenship. The financial support assists candidates in obtaining legal services during the screening and the application process as well as direct support to defray the cost of the federal naturalization application. There are six available scholarships for 2021. Acceptance of applications began on March 1, 2021. 
 
Scholarship recipients will be assigned a trained tutor from LitNet, who will work one-on-one with the applicant to prepare for the culmination of the naturalization process—the civics and literacy exams.  
 
Since the inception of the Keator Scholarship in 2019, 12 recipients have become US citizens. 
 
All applicants must begin their process with the Berkshire Immigrant Center, which partners closely with LitNet in this endeavor. To obtain a scholarship application or for any questions, contact Lorena Dus or Emma Lezberg at the Berkshire Immigrant Center, https://berkshireic.org, by telephone (413) 445-4881or email info@berkshireic.com.  
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Lee Bank Establishes Foundation to Build on Community Reinvestment

LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank has created the Lee Bank Foundation and project distributing $250,000 through the Foundation, a more formal entity for community donations. 
 
"Lee Bank's community contributions stretch back to its origins in 1852, but establishing Lee Bank Foundation sharpens our focus even further," said Chuck Leach, president of Lee Bank. "The Foundation also simplifies the application process for organizations doing meaningful work to support our Berkshire community."
 
The recently renovated Marble House will house the foundation along with the new financial wellness service, for which hiring is under way.
 
In recent years, Lee Bank has typically set aside at least 5 percent of its annual net income for the support of area nonprofits. This giving has been on the rise: in 2020, Lee Bank contributed nearly $179,000 to community nonprofits; in 2019, $145,000 and in 2018, $120,000. Last year, Lee Bank's distributions included $50,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County.
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