May 8, 2007 (Washington, D.C) – In honor of National Teacher Day, a time when the nation pays tribute to those individuals who play a critically important role in the education of America’s youth, and the 10th anniversary of America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the Alliance and the ING Foundation, the charitable giving arm of ING U.S. Financial Services, today announced a new partnership that will significantly strengthen the Alliance’s ability to deliver one or more of the Five Promises that young people need to succeed – caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others— to 15 million children over the next five years.
“Teachers and other education professionals are among our country’s unsung heroes – and we should be grateful for their hard work and compassion every day, not just on National Teacher Day,” said Tom McInerney, ING Group Executive Board member, chairman and CEO, ING Insurance Americas. “However, on this very special day, the most compelling way for ING to recognize and reinforce their tireless efforts is to partner with an exceptional organization like America’s Promise, which is devoted to improving the lives of children every day. We’re proud to support America’s Promise through this $2 million grant and are confident that these dollars will turn to action, and the action will result in an easier future for countless children.”
The grant, which will be distributed over five years, will be used to support the work of the Alliance including key programs such as the 100 Best Communities for Young People initiative, Katrina’s Kids, the Alliance’s new National Action Strategies, as well as local Alliance partners’ smaller community-focused programs. In addition to the grant, ING employees across the country will have the opportunity to volunteer with the local offices of Alliance partners such as United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs to ensure delivery of the Promises to at-risk youth in their own communities.
“ING’s reputation as a corporate citizen that truly cares about our children and their education is well-known and well-deserved,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “We’re proud to have them join our Alliance partner network, as it is a testament to the fact that the sum of our partner efforts is greater than the sum of our individualized efforts. Both our organizations believe in the power of the Five Promises to help our young people reach and achieve their potential. Thanks to this contribution and ING’s broader efforts to expand educational opportunities, more at-risk children will experience more of the Promises, helping pave the way for more happy, healthy and productive lives.”
“ING believes that one of the best investments we can make is in our children. When we do that, we not only ensure that our nation stays globally competitive, but we honor the spirit and potential of its future—our children,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance trustee. “ING wants adult Americans to have an easier time with retirement in the future, but we also want kids to have an easier time with young adulthood. Partnering with America’s Promise will help us do that.”
ING is committed to education and gives back to educators and communities where employees live and where ING does business. ING honors excellence in education through the ING Unsung Heroes grant program, which recognizes teachers for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and the ability to make a positive influence on he children they teach.
Outside of financial literacy programs, the ING Foundation provides the majority of its grants to organizations with an educational focus or component. They have provided support in the past to other Alliance partners, such as Junior Achievement to support its job shadowing program and Girls Incorporated, and are the sponsor of the National Teacher of the Year award, a project by the Council of Chief State School Officers. ING has also joined with the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help 115,000 children from Brazil, India, and Ethiopia get the educational resources they need.
The Alliance’s comprehensive research report titled Every Child/Every Promise: Turning Failure into Action, measured the presence of the Five Promises in young people’s lives, as well as the impact the Promises have on children’s overall well-being. The report revealed that to succeed in life, young people must experience at least four of the Five Promises; moreover, when youth receive these fundamental resources, economic and racial disparities can be eliminated. It also showed that less than one in three young people are receiving enough of the Promises to feel confident that they will succeed. Based on these findings, Alliance partners have developed three National Action Strategies designed to deliver the success-building Promises to 15 million disadvantaged youth over the next five years. The funding from the ING Foundation will play a critical role in completing the tactical support necessary to implement these strategies and make progress toward the goal.
About the America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance comprised of corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the fundamental resources - the Five Promises – they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. Building on the legacy of our founder General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our children is grounded in experiencing the Five Promises - caring adults; safe place; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others - at home, in school and in the community.
ING Group is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which include life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves more than 15 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com