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Great Lakes Donates $115,000 to 10 Adopted Schools in Local Communities

Employee United Way Contributions Matched Dollar-for-Dollar to Enhance Student Success

—Employees of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates give generously to the communities where they live and work. All year long, they collect school supplies, healthy snacks and books for students at their adopted schools—chosen based on proximity to each Great Lakes office and the level of need. The biggest Great Lakes Gives event is the annual Unite for Our Communities campaign, in which employees make pledges to the United Way or Community Shares of Wisconsin, bid on silent auction items and participate in fun activities like bake sales, games and chili cook-offs.

All funds raised by employees during the Unite for Our Communities campaign have an even greater impact. Great Lakes makes a dollar-for-dollar company match to each office's adopted school so they can buy more of the things students need to be successful. This year, donations totaling $114,910 were made to 10 adopted schools located in Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

"Participation in this year's Unite for Our Communities campaign was outstanding," said Stephanie Hayden, Employee Giving Manager at Great Lakes. "Thanks to the incredible generosity of our employees, we raised nearly $230,000 for our local schools and United Ways. It's a great feeling knowing that we're helping our communities thrive."

Ceremonial big checks were presented to students and staff during December. The schools are planning to enhance student learning with purchases including virtual reality technology, portable choral risers, culturally responsive books, 3D printer technology, and instructional software.

Great Lakes is dedicated to improving lives through education. Amy Kerwin, Vice President — Community Investments, explained, "Our corporate philanthropy operates on multiple levels. Our national grantmaking is focused on seeing more underserved students earn postsecondary credentials or degrees. At the local level, through our Great Lakes Gives employee giving program, we help students at a school located near each of our offices get a strong start, improving their chances of accessing higher education. The company match is one of the ways we provide those schools with resources that can help change their students' lives for the better."

Kerwin noted that the connections Great Lakes forges with staff and students at its adopted schools go beyond dollars and cents. These relationships have been built over several years through volunteer work; snack, book and school supply collection drives; and other activities.

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