Foundation Events

Chamber Foundation Announcement

This is a test

The Chamber Foundation Spotlight

Foundation receives $10K grant from State Farm

The Chamber Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit affiliate of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, recently announced it received a $10,000 grant from State Farm to support The Youth Leadership Program, an innovative, leadership development program designed to develop the academic, social, and life skills of area youth.

“This program offers local high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to explore themselves and their future path,” said Foundation Executive Director Nicholas Shannon. “Students graduate this program more confident and well rounded with the skills and attitudes needed for success in college and life.”

Program participants have opportunities for substantive interaction with peers, community based service organizations, institutions of higher education, and local professionals.

“We believe early intervention sets the stage for success in the future,” said Jen Dunn, a State Farm agent in Poughkeepsie and First Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “Financial literacy continues to be an important tool for everyone, especially our youth. Along with all the components of the program, this grant will have a positive impact not only on the students, but also on the community at large.”

The first year of Youth Leadership is designed for sophomores and leads the students through the formation of their own student-based company. During this process, students learn the intricacies of running a business including recruiting investors through stock sales, product selection, and sales and marketing techniques. During the second year, as juniors, students participate in college/real world preparation sessions covering résumé writing, interview skills, college applications, paying for college, and financial education. The monthly sessions also feature a group interactive presentation from a prominent community leader on topics such as leadership, wellness, and community awareness.

To help reinforce these lessons, sophomores complete eight hours of community service and juniors complete a 20-hour internship based on career interests.

Youth Leadership is a collaborative effort with area school districts and includes the local community, business leaders, and Foundation staff. Youth Leadership is open to any student from any school or district within Dutchess County, including home-schooled students, and is sponsored by The Gap, Inc. with support from IBM Corporation and State Farm.

Applications are currently being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for the 2018-2019 Youth Leadership Program year. Incoming sophomores are encouraged to apply. More information and the application can be found at For more information or questions, contact Nicholas Shannon at (845) 454-1700 ext. 1026.

About State Farm:
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and nearly 70,000 employees serve more than 84 million policies and accounts – more than 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies, and more than 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 33 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

About The Chamber Foundation, Inc.:

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for local youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the Hudson Valley region’s future of economic growth. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service. For more information, visit

The Chamber Foundation announces 2018 scholarships

The Chamber Foundation, Inc.—the leadership and community advancement organization of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce—is now accepting applications for its scholarships for 2018 as part of its ongoing mission to aid local students seeking to further their education.

Since 2009, The Chamber Foundation has awarded over $360,000 in scholarships. To apply for any of the eight scholarships available, or for more information, candidates should visit

All applications must be submitted online via the scholarship portal hosted by The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

The application process has been streamlined to make things easier for both students and guidance counselors. Applicants will create a login ID and password and will then be able to access his or her application at any time. With this login, students will also have access to all of the scholarships hosted by the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. When students log in, they will complete an eligibility quiz, which will recommend scholarships. Students applying for multiple scholarships now have the ability to copy answers from one application to the next. Additionally, those providing transcripts and recommendations will have a dashboard to manage documents and requests in one location.

Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2018.

The ATHENA Adult Scholarship was established to encourage increased career opportunities for women in our community. This scholarship is available to any female Dutchess County resident who works or volunteers in Dutchess County, has graduated high school or its equivalent, or graduated college, has been out of school for at least five years, and is pursuing education at an accredited New York State college, university or trade school, or through an accredited online educational program.

Established to honor past Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and his love of music, and to encourage the pursuit of music and arts in education, the Charles S. North Scholarship for Music and Art is available to any graduating high school senior who is a resident of Dutchess County and is majoring in music performance, music/art education or visual arts (ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, and architecture) at an accredited college or university in the United States.

Established by his family to honor his memory, The Cosimo DiBrizzi Culinary Arts Scholarship is available to any resident of the Mid-Hudson Valley (counties of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam and Ulster) who is pursuing a career at the Culinary Institute of America. Student must be accepted (or currently enrolled) at the CIA and planning to attend within the next six months. If currently enrolled, student must have residency in the Hudson Valley for at least five years.

Established by her family to honor her memory, the Eileen Hickey Nursing Scholarship - sponsored by The Pines at Poughkeepsie is available to any resident of Dutchess County who is pursuing a career in nursing at a college in New York State.

The Juan Lafuente Leadership Scholarship memorializes the husband of former City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Colette Lafuente, who lost his life during the attacks on September 11, 2001. Candidates for this scholarship must be a resident of Dutchess County. Awards are based on student’s demonstration of academic achievement – especially in the areas of math and science, leadership contributions to school and community, and character. Student must attend an accredited New York State college, university, or trade school. This scholarship is open to any academic major.

Established to support students in achieving his or her Bachelor’s Degree, the Steven and Linda Lant Family Scholarship for Business and Finance is available to any Dutchess County high school senior or Dutchess Community College student entering an accredited bachelor’s degree program pursuing a major in economics, business or finance at a New York State college. The Lant family has established this scholarship to support students with the motivation, work ethic, and academic skills necessary to succeed at college and in the workforce. Financial need is considered.

The Richard W. Mitchell Memorial Workforce Development Scholarship - with support from the Hudson Valley Young Professionals was established to honor the memory of the former President and CEO of the then Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce. This scholarship is available to members of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and their families, participants in its Workforce Development Programs, or participants in The Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Programming who are also residents of Dutchess County and face significant economic, physical, developmental or emotional barrier(s) while advancing his or her education. Student must attend an accredited New York State college, university, or trade school. This scholarship is open to any academic major. Visit to see if your employer is a member of the Chamber.

The Norman and Rita Nussbickel Memorial Scholarship was established in 1987 by the Nussbickel family and the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Foundation in memory of Norman F. Nussbickel. The scholarship also honors his wife, Rita, who passed away in 2006. This scholarship is for graduating seniors from John Jay, Roy C. Ketcham, Beacon or Arlington High Schools who have demonstrated strong academic, athletic and community service in high school.