Kirk Kordeleski, President and CEO, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, is the recipient of the 2011 John O'Neill Humanitarian Award, which was presented to Mr. Kordeleski during last night's Project GRAD Long Island Achieving Dreams Reception, that took place at The Chateau in Carle Place.
Mr. Kordeleski was honored with The John O'Neill Humanitarian award for his significant contribution to Long Island's underserved communities, including his extensive involvement in education and unwavering support of Project GRAD Long Island.
The John O'Neill Humanitarian Award is presented annually to outstanding Long Islanders who embody the legacy of Mr. O'Neill, a Long Island philanthropist and business leader who helped stir Long Island's philanthropic community to support Project GRAD Long Island, including its start-up efforts in the Roosevelt community. Mr. Kordeleski, like Mr. O'Neill, shares a deep commitment to the belief that children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive an equal opportunity to achieve their full intellectual, social and economic potential by attending and graduating from college and becoming productive, active citizens. The John O'Neill Humanitarian Award was first awarded in 2005 to Michael Keenan, who was then Senior Vice President for North Fork Bank.
Kirk Kordeleski is greatly recognized as one of Long Island's key influencers and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Project GRAD Long Island, we are grateful for his unwavering leadership, passion and dedication to our organization and mission to help educate underprivileged students,said Sybil Mimy Johnson, Executive Director, Project GRAD Long Island. In his tenure as Chairman, and certainly over the past year, Kirk has significantly contributed to our organization. We congratulate him on this well deserved award.
A true humanitarian, John O'Neill helped establish Project GRAD on Long Island. His charitable efforts have helped thousands of young students in the Roosevelt and Westbury communities achieve their dreams of graduating college. I am honored to have received this prestigious award, said Kirk Kordeleski, President and CEO, Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
Heading up Long Island's leading community financial institution, Kordeleski's main focus for Bethpage is the consumer retail mid-market, including serving the many underserved communities on Long Island. In 2010, Kordeleski opened four new branch locations including a Roosevelt branch, which marked the first time a major financial institution launched in this underserved community in more than 20 years. Now in its 8th year, Kordeleski maintains Bethpage's annual Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA), offering free tax return assistance for low to moderate-income households at 10 branch locations each year, including Roosevelt and Hempstead. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of Project GRAD, in 2010 Kordeleski helped Project GRAD receive a Federal grant to benefit Westbury Middle and High School students.
As an active supporter of the Long Island community, Kirk Kordeleski is First Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Long Island Association (LIA) and serves on the LIA's Executive Committee. Kirk is also on the Board of Directors of the Long Island Arts Alliance, and he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Project GRAD Long Island. He sits on the Council of Advisors for the Community Development Corporation of Long Island and the Council of Overseers for the Tilles Center. In addition, Kirk serves on Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano's Business/Economic Development Group. In 2005, Bethpage took on a leadership role with respect to Workforce Housing initiatives on Long Island - with Kirk appointed Chairman of the Next Generation Housing Committee in partnership with the LIA.
He has been honored by institutions and organizations for his regional leadership, including YMCA of Long Island, Adelphi University, United Way, Education and Assistance Corp., The Mentoring Partnership of Long Island, and Promote Long Island, among others. In addition to Bethpage consistently named the Best of Long Island among credit unions, Kirk has been named for four years running as one of Long Island Business News' Top 100 Most Influential Long Islanders.
It is my mission at Bethpage to identify underserved neighborhoods like Roosevelt and Westbury, where I can provide much needed help and services, continued Kordeleski. Project GRAD is able to make the greatest impact in these economically disadvantaged school districts because like myself, community residents, elected officials and local organizations have all embraced its mission of empowering the children. Bethpage exists to serve its members, including those residing in communities in need.
The mission of Project GRAD is to ensure a quality public education for all students in economically disadvantaged communities so that high school and college graduation rates increase. Project GRAD provides comprehensive college readiness services and professional development in partnership with school districts. The Project GRAD Long Island Scholarship Program provides a $6,000 college scholarship for qualified Project GRAD Scholars from the Roosevelt and Westbury Union Free School Districts. The scholarship is available to all graduating high school seniors who maintain a cumulative GPA of 81 (3.0) or above, graduate
with a Regents Diploma and attend two Project GRAD-organized college summer institutes, take the SAT, and complete their high school studies on time.
Project GRAD Long Island graduates have taken their scholarships to institutions such as Penn State College Park, C.W. Post, the NY Institute of Technology, Adelphi University, SUNY Stony Brook and Hofstra University, among others. In Project GRAD's original cluster of schools, it has increased the number of high school graduates by 94%, raised the number of students going to college by 400%, and generated a college completion rate 70% above the national average. For more information, please visit www.projectgradli.org.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, existing solely to serve its members and has experienced rapid growth in recent years to become a strong alternative to banks. Bethpage was approved for the largest federal community charter in the U.S. in 2003 and now is Long Island's largest credit union and leading community financial institution with over 180,000 members, 22 branches and 60 shared service center locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. As a financial cooperative, Bethpage offers better rates, lower fees and a full menu of personal and commercial financial services.
Bethpage maintains branch locations in Bay Shore, Bethpage, Central Islip, Commack, Elmont, Farmingdale, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Huntington, Levittown, Lynbrook, Massapequa, Melville, Mineola, North Babylon, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Seaford, Smithtown, Roosevelt and Westbury with over 250 surcharge-free ATMs in King Kullen, 7-Eleven, Walgreen's and Costco locations throughout Long Island. For more information, call 1-800-628-7070 or visit www.lovebethpage.com.