ALBANY, N.Y. — The School Administrators Association of New York State will present its 2011 Friend of Education Award to Wegmans Food Markets and the Wegman family, the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer announced Wednesday.
“There are few organizations as dedicated to the future of [their] community and [their] young citizens [as] Wegmans,” stated Don Nickson, deputy executive director of SAANYS. “We are fortunate to have such a company based right here in western New York and are honored to recognize [its] commitment and service.”
The recognition is awarded to "an individual, group or organization that has consistently contributed to the support and advancement of outstanding public education and the students of New York State." Wegmans was nominated for the award by the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester, with particular recognition from the Rochester secondary school administrators in appreciation of Wegmans' support of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection.
The late Robert Wegman and his son Danny Wegman founded the Work-Scholarship Connection in 1987. Since 1996, the nationally recognized program has been an affiliate of the Hillside Family of Agencies, serving at-risk youth in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, N.Y., as well as in Prince George's County, Md. The program provides these youth with mentors, part-time jobs and other support to help them develop habits and acquire the skills to become contributing members of the community.
SAANYS also recognized the numerous other Wegmans’ sponsored programs, including the Eat Well, Live Well fourth-grade store tours and Veggie Patch classes for scouts; Strong’s Super Kid Market; the ProStart Culinary Competition for High School Students; and Foodlink’s Kids Cafés and Project Search, a high school transition program for 18 to 21 year olds with developmental disabilities that provides training and education leading to employment opportunities.