BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) announced its 2023 Pay it Forward Award recipients who were honored at its annual Pay It Forward Awards held on Nov. 2, 2023.
The 2023 Pay It Forward honorees are:
- Alexsandra Lopez, Commission on Citizens Rights and Community Relations
- Martiza Vega, Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York
The award recognizes personal and professional accomplishments and how those actions increase philanthropy in communities of color. Emphasis is placed on service to the community and educating the next generation, with a focus on showcasing community champions that reflect the multicultural and ethnic diversity of the CGLI mission which works to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color.
“The 2023 Pay It Forward honorees exemplify what it means to pass the torch to future generations and create positive change in our communities of color,” said Oswaldo Mestre, CGLI Chair. “We are honored to recognize these individuals who are making a lasting difference in Western New York and beyond.”
The Pay it Forward Award is the highest honor the CGLI bestows upon an individual or organization. Since the awards were created in 2012, the CGLI has recognized dozens of outstanding individuals and organizations.
The CGLI continues to focus on lifting up youth of color and providing unique opportunities that help them soar. Additional 2023 highlights include:
- Through a one-time competitive grant process, the CGLI announced awards totaling $30,000 to four nonprofit organizations serving youth ages 10 to 17 in the 14208 and/or 14209 zip codes: Back to Basics Outreach Ministries; Buffalo Inner City Ballet; Home Beneath Our Feet; and SOLID Foundation Prep. These grants, with funding made possible through the generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, were awarded to nonprofits that support the Buffalo community most directly impacted by the horrific racially-motivated mass shooting on May 14, 2022, with preference given to Black-led organizations.
- The CGLI established two awards that honor the legacy of the late Judge Hugh B. Scott, one of its founding members. The Judge Hugh B. Scott Community Service Award recognizes a person age 21- 40 from a Western New York community of color who exemplifies a commitment to creating positive change in the lives of youth of color through community service, civic engagement or volunteerism. The 2023 recipient is Isaac De Los Santos, Vice President, Business Banking Senior Relationship Manager at M&T Bank. The Judge Hugh B. Scott Inspiring Youth Community Service Award recognizes a trailblazing youth of color age 13- 20 from Western New York who exemplifies a commitment to creating positive change through community service, civic engagement or volunteerism, above and beyond activities required or sponsored by school or youth programs. The 2023 recipient is Sinclair Maclin, a student at City Honors School. Both recipients were honored at the Pay It Forward Awards.
- In June, four high school students completed the 2023 Young Philanthropists program. They were honored at a Capstone Ceremony, during which they also awarded $1,500 grants to Confident Girl Mentoring Program, Inc. and Home Beneath Our Feet, Inc.
- Eight high school students participated in the CGLI’s 2023 Close Up program to Washington, D.C., which provides students with opportunities to learn about government and democracy, and engage with fellow high school peers from around the world.
Learn more about the CGLI and how it works to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color in Western New York by visiting www.thecgli.org.
About the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative
The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative® (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York. The CGLI works toward this mission through endowment building, engaging strategic partners, and intentional community connections. For additional information about the CGLI, please visit www.theCGLI.org.
About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at cfgb.org.