PITTSFIELD, MASS, January 7, 2015 – Berkshire Bank has announced it will honor thirty (30) high school seniors in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Vermont through its annual Scholarship Awards Program. The Program will award $45,000 in total scholarship dollars to students who have demonstrated community service through their volunteer efforts, have been successful academically and have a financial need. Additionally, students must attend a high school that is located in a community with a Berkshire Bank office or in a community primarily served by a Berkshire Bank office.
Lori Gazzillo, director of Berkshire Bank Foundation, said the scholarship program has grown in popularity each year with students who look forward to participating. “We believe that one of life’s most exciting moments is going to college and Berkshire Bank wants to do our part to help make college more affordable for students in need. This program exemplifies our support of education and commitment of promoting volunteerism in our communities. Each year our employees rally around this program, volunteering their time to review the hundreds of applications to help select the recipients.”
Through the program, thirty $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who will be attending a two- or four-year college in the fall. Applications are evaluated based on their record of volunteerism in the community, academic standing and financial need. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 and a family household income under $75,000 to be eligible to apply. Students must apply online by Wednesday March 25, 2015. An independent team of bank employee volunteers will review all applications and select this year’s winners.
Scholarships will be awarded in the regions where Berkshire Bank branches are located, with fourteen (14) available in Massachusetts, eleven (11) available in New York, two (2) in Connecticut, and (3) in Vermont. Students can apply online though the Bank’s website atwww.berkshirebank.com/scholarships. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online by March 25 at 4:00 p.m. Additional information about this year’s program can be obtained on the bank’s website or by contacting Berkshire Bank Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The scholarship awards program is an extension of the bank’s corporate values that promoting volunteerism at an early age will lead to ongoing community involvement. In addition to the scholarship awards, Berkshire provides approximately $2 million dollars in financial support annually through their charitable foundations and corporate support. 70% of Berkshire Bank’s employees donated in excess of 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across their footprint in 2014 through their nationally-renowned X-Team volunteer program. Berkshire Bank philanthropic and community volunteerism efforts were honored in 2014 with the Capital Region Community Impact Award, the United Way Agar Volunteerism Award, two New England Financial Marketing Awards and the Boston Business Journal named Berkshire one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies for the second consecutive year.
About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has approximately $6.4 billion in assets and 91 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. To learn more, visit www.berkshirebank.comor call 800-773-5601. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of the Boston Bruins coverage on NESN.
About Berkshire Bank Foundation
Through foundation grants to non-profits, scholarships to students, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates nearly $1.6 million to non-profits in the bank’s footprint and employees provide over 40,000 hours of service—all on the company dime. In 2013 and 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. This year, Berkshire Bank and NESN are teaming up to raise $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity by donating funds to the Hockey 4 Housing campaign each time the Boston Bruins achieved a penalty kill. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit www.berkshirebank.com/community.