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Milwaukee neighborhoods, educational nonprofits receive more than $2 million in support
Northwestern Mutual announces grants to improve three communities, advance child literacy

MILWAUKEE, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Improving the quality of life for Milwaukee residents of all ages stimulates positive change throughout the community. Recognizing this, Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is awarding more than $2 million to strong nonprofits through the company's neighborhoods and education grants programs.

Building and supporting local residents to achieve community-driven change is a key component of the company's neighborhoods initiative. More than $1 million in financial support will be given to nonprofits located within Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods in an effort to create welcoming, safe and healthy neighborhoods for more than 70,000 residents.

Local educational programming aligned to third grade reading proficiency will also receive support through grants. According to United Way of Greater Milwaukee, students who are not proficient in reading by third grade are four times more likely to leave school before graduating than proficient readers. To ensure more children graduate, the company is donating $590,000 to organizations dedicated to building fundamental literacy skills.

Northwestern Mutual Foundation also invests in replicable, collaborative education efforts with grants totaling $420,000 this year. The company actively supports Milwaukee Succeeds, a cradle to career initiative focused on improving educational outcomes for children in the city. Additionally, the company is partnering with Milwaukee Public Schools, Teach for America, City Year and Schools that Can Milwaukee to support students, teachers and school leaders in their efforts to drive greater academic success for students at Milwaukee's Carver Academy.

 "By strengthening our community, whether through supporting neighborhoods or our children's education, we are building a better tomorrow," said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "We're honored and inspired by the change happening all around us and these grants provide additional resources to continue making an impact for our residents, and ultimately our community."

Spotlight on the Dominican Center for Women
Since 1995, The Dominican Center for Women, a recipient of one of the grants, has been improving the quality of life for residents in the community. As the lead agency in the Amani neighborhood, the nonprofit is a driver of the federal Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP).

The federal grant aids the organization in furthering the mission of the BNCP to help low-income neighborhoods build the infrastructure and resources needed to ensure families experience better results around safety, education, youth programming, neighborhood beautification and other key areas.

"By engaging residents and learning what they see as challenges and potential solutions, we're able to make progress in revitalizing the Amani neighborhood," said Patricia Rogers, executive director, Dominican Center for Women. "These funds help us provide the programs, opportunities and training for community members that improve the city, not only in this area, but throughout greater Milwaukee."

Programs funded from Northwestern Mutual's grant include safety initiatives, training on how to conduct and lead meetings, research into the needs of residents, and community beautification. The Dominican Center for Women also works in conjunction with other area nonprofits to ensure residents are receiving the support needed to create strong, healthy and thriving communities.

Neighborhood grant recipients

ACTS Housing

Boys & Girls Club

COA Youth & Family Centers

Community Connections Small Grants Program

Community Development Funders Alliance Strategy

Dominican Center for Women

Feeding America

Groundwork Milwaukee

Housing Resources

Hunger Task Force 

Journey House

Junior Achievement  

 Legal Aid Society 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Neighborhood Leadership Institute

Rogers Memorial Hospital

Safe & Sound

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center 

Sojourner Family Peace Center

The Parenting Network

United Community Center

United Neighborhoods of Milwaukee

Third grade reading neighborhood partners

Arts @ Large

City Year Milwaukee 

First Stage Milwaukee

Milwaukee Succeeds Pilot: Focus on Reading Foundations

Milwaukee Public Library Foundation

Milwaukee Public Theatre 

Next Door Foundation

Penfield Children's Center

Schools That Can Milwaukee, Inc.

SHARP Literacy Inc.

St. Marcus Lutheran School

Teach For America

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Educational collaboration partners

City Year

 Milwaukee Public Schools

 Milwaukee Succeeds

  Schools That Can Milwaukee

  Teach for America

Northwestern Mutual is committed to improving the lives of Milwaukee children and families in need through its four focus areas, including third grade reading proficiency and post-secondary completion, neighborhoods, childhood cancer and making Milwaukee a great place to live and work.

About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $250 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination.

About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years. Our financial representatives build relationships with clients through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution. With more than $217 billion in assets, $26 billion in revenues and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.2 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual

Jennifer Ryan, 1-800-323-7033,