People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, announced that it awarded $45,500 in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont, including a $5,000 grant to College of St. Joseph for the STEPS program.

“CSJ relies on its community partners to provide for students with financial needs,” said Bates Childress, director of development. “This will make a substantial difference for foster youth trying to improve their lives. We thank People’s United Community Foundation for their tremendous support.”

Ten organizations received funding in support of activities that ranged from education and workforce development programs, to small business development and affordable housing initiatives. Recipients included College of St. Joseph, Central Vermont Community Land Trust, the Sara M. Holbrook Community Center, the Vermont Community Loan Fund, , and Vermont Works for Women.

Established in 2007, People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance the quality of life for residents in the communities that People’s United Bank serves.

STEPS, Students Taking an Effective Path to Success, is CSJ’s full-time residential program for Vermont youth transitioning out of foster care. It provides a supportive campus environment for students so they can earn a college degree, develop work skills, and experience optional counseling and guidance support.