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InsideOut Literary Arts Project named Champion in Action

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $35,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

SOUTHFIELD, MI (January 19, 2012) – Last night in a surprise announcement, Charter One and WXYZ-TV Channel 7 named InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit as the first 2012 Champion in Action® in the category of youth initiatives. InsideOut will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work.

"Charter One is pleased to have InsideOut Literary Arts Project as the newest Champion in Action in the youth initiative category," said Sandy Pierce, President, Charter One, Michigan. "InsideOut understands that when students find their voice as a writer, they can also find their passion, helping them the opportunity to excel at something they love to do. Last year alone, InsideOut worked with nearly 4,000 students from 25 local schools and published 25 professionally printed journals."

The grant will be used to further engage local youth in the power of poetry and literary self-expression. Guided by professional writers in classrooms and at community workshops hosted by InsideOut, students learn that their words and ideas matter and develop critical thinking skills.

"WXYZ-TV Channel 7 is proud to recognize the meaningful work of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project," said Ed Fernandez, Vice President and General Manager, WXYZ-TV Channel 7. "We congratulate InsideOut and look forward to working with them to help raise their profile."

As a Champion in Action, InsideOut Literary Arts Project will receive:

  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Charter One Charitable Foundation;
  • Media coverage from WXYZ-TV Channel 7;
  • Volunteer support from Charter One and WXYZ-TV Channel 7 colleagues;
  • The opportunity for the organization's executive director to participate in a "president-to-president" mentorship with Charter One President Sandy Pierce;
  • Extensive public relations support;
  • Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action in all Charter One branch DCN screens and on its ATMs;
  • Exposure on both Charter One and WXYZ-TV Channel 7 websites.

"InsideOut Literary Arts Project is beyond thrilled to become a Champions in Action," said Terry Blackhawk, Ph.D, Executive Director of InsideOut Literary Arts Project. "The award is a wonderful exclamation point on 17 years of working to empower the voices of youth in Detroit. Being a Champion in Action allows InsideOut to guide even more youth to 'think broadly and create bravely' as they find their voices as writers. Thanks to promotional support that we will receive, our students' words will have even wider wings and touch many hearts."

Launched locally in 2006, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Charter One and WXYZ-TV Channel 7 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to communities in Southeast Michigan. To date, 23 local nonprofits have been recognized and received $575,000 in grants and promotional support. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Champions in Action program that has provided more than $6 million in support to more than 245 nonprofit organizations throughout the Citizens Financial Group footprint.

Applications for the second 2012 Champion in Action in the neighborhood revitalization category are due Friday, March 2, at 5 p.m. The winner will be announced in July. Eligible nonprofits should apply online at www.charterone.com/community/champions.

Prior Michigan Champions in Action include: the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic; Crossroads of Michigan; Grace Centers of Hope; Elder Law; Think Detroit PAL; Operation ABLE; Turning Point, Inc.; Lighthouse CDC; Young Detroit Builders; Winning Futures; Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion; Midnight Golf Program; Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team; Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan; WARM Training Center; Mercy Education Project; Kids Kicking Cancer; The Greening of Detroit; Living Arts; Jefferson East Business Association; the Baldwin Center; Woodward Avenue Action Coalition and the South Oakland Shelter.

For more information about Charter One and to see other tools that can help you reach your financial goals in 2012, visit charterone.com or call the bank's 24/7 customer service line at 1-800-922-9999.

About Charter One
Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has 365 branches and 564 ATMs. Charter One’s website is charterone.com.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $131 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches, approximately 3,900 ATMs and more than 20,000 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. CFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG's website is citizensbank.com.

About WXYZ-TV Channel 7
WXYZ-TV Channel 7, an ABC affiliate, serves the nine-county Detroit market area - reaching more than 1.9 million homes each week. Channel 7 was named "TV Station of the Year" in 2011 by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.