Local Nonprofits Team up to Empower Students with Tools for Learning

COHOES, N.Y., Sept. 7, 2023 – More than 1,700 crayons, 1,600 pencils, 240 glue sticks, 200 pens, 53 calculators, 70 notebooks, a dozen insulated lunchboxes, and other items were delivered Friday to the Connect Center in Cohoes, to kick off the start of the new school year.

Volunteers from The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) have been collecting donations from employees throughout the summer and delivered three carloads of supplies to the center ahead of the first day of school.

CIS Cares is the volunteer arm of the East Greenbush-based organization.

“CIS Cares is really put together as a way for us to give back to our community, to raise awareness for places that may be underserved or really need the attention they so deserve,” said Rachael Farrell, CIS Cares campaign chair. “Our goal is to bring that awareness, bring in any resources we can, any donations we can, and volunteer efforts to help them receive the support they need."

The Connect Center is an after-school and summer program for students in grades six through 12, offering educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (S.T.E.A.M.), as well as teaching life skills like culinary arts and financial literacy. The program also opens its doors to the community, offering a food pantry, free books, and baby supplies, and it plans to offer access to free laundry service by the end of the year.

The school supplies will help get the students off on the right foot to start the new school year.

“It’s really important,” said Ben Williams, Executive Director of the Connect Center. “It levels the playing field, so the kids feel like they belong and they get a fresh start. We offer the school supplies during the year at any time so any of my kids can come grab fresh folders or fresh pencils to help re-up during the school year."

To learn more or get involved with the Connect Center, visit their website.

For further information, please contact CIS Media Relations Manager, Kelly Wyland, at [email protected] or call/text 518-256-6978.





About CIS Cares:

CIS Cares is an employee volunteer program at the Center for Internet Security that leverages the skills, time, and resources of our organization to support positive impacts within our communities and across the country. CIS Cares partners with local and national organizations to support their programs and provide volunteer opportunities to all CIS staff.


About the Connect Center:

The mission of the Connect Center is to break the cycle of poverty in the City of Cohoes by connecting local youth to their full potential and becoming a community hub for connection and empowerment. The core values are:


Community: Building support and trust between neighbors.

Empowerment: The opportunity to discover one’s own strength and confidence.

Innovation: Encouraging creativity, and outside the lines thinking and problem-solving.


Students with Tools for Learning


Students with Tools for Learning


Students with Tools for Learning