In the News

2024 January Letter to the Community

January 01, 2024

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Happy New Year from American Savings Foundation

As the New Year begins, we’d like to take a moment to thank all the people who support the mission of the American Savings Foundation. We are filled with gratitude for the 50-plus volunteers who give their time and talent to support the work of the Foundation by serving on our Grants, Scholarships, and Communications Committees, and on our Board of Directors. They are all vital to our review of 200 grant applications and more than 400 scholarship applications each year. These volunteers each have a deep understanding and unwavering devotion to the communities we serve. Sadly, in 2023, we mourned the passing of one of the founding members of our board, Carl Cicchetti, who truly exemplified these values. He will be dearly missed.

We are also deeply grateful to our wonderful professional staff and their commitment to the work of the American Savings Foundation. As we begin 2024, we are pleased to announce the promotion of two key members:

  • Heather Hokunson, who oversees the American Savings Foundation Scholarship Program, is being promoted to Senior Program Officer. In this role she will take on more strategic leadership for the evolution and growth of the scholarship program, as well as added dimensions of outreach and engagement in the community. 
  • Jenna Cowan has been promoted to the role of Program Officer, where she will assume more responsibility for our Program Grants and Community Grants funding areas.

Together with Maria Sanchez, Director of Grantmaking and Community Investment, and Noreen Cannamela, Operations Manager, our staff oversees a broad array of grants and scholarships throughout the 64 Connecticut towns we serve. 

One key area of our focus has been strengthening the connections between these areas of our work. Our two largest funding areas – after school programs for middle-school youth and college scholarships - both help prepare youth and young adults for success in school, career, and life. Last year, over 50% of our new ASF Scholars from New Britain reported that they had participated in the after-school programs that we support, and the percentage was nearly as high among our scholars from Waterbury (40%). We continue to support a wide range of high-quality after school programs for youth, and know that in future years, many of those young people will themselves become American Savings Foundation Scholars.  

As a broad-based funder, we also understand that all our funding areas are deeply interconnected. Many grants to arts organizations encompass educational components, while several social services organizations we support use the arts in a social or therapeutic setting. Students learn best when supported by strong families and healthy communities, and we see how our funding for basic needs, asset building, and workforce development spans across generations. We remain committed to funding a wide range of program areas, with a particular focus on supporting children, youth, and families, across the towns and communities we serve.


That is our lasting commitment.


Charles J. Boulier III          Maria Falvo

Chair of the Board             President & CEO