PLS, Western Union Foundation Contribute to University of Arizona's College of Outreach

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PLS and the Western Union Foundation have combined on a $10,000 contribution to Communities in Schools Dallas Region, Inc., an organization that helps at-risk students stay in school, complete their education and graduate.

The Arizona Youth University helps today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders. We’re proud to support this outstanding program.

“Investing in education is one of the surest ways to make our communities stronger,” said Bob Wolfberg, President, PLS. “That’s why we’re pleased to make a $5,000 donation to the University of Arizona’s College of Outreach.”

PLS’s contribution will support the College of Outreach’s Arizona Youth University [AYU (http://www.ceao.arizona.edu/youth/)]. Featuring summer camps offered in conjunction with a variety of University of Arizona units and departments, AYU gives elementary and high school students a rare opportunity to indulge their academic curiosity and explore college and career tracks that include medicine, creative writing, forensics, law, nursing, theater, foreign culture and much more.

PLS (http://www.PLShome.com) operates more than 300 financial services centers in nine states. The PLS mission is to provide innovative and convenient financial services delivered with the respect that hard-working consumers deserve.

“The Arizona Youth University helps today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Wolfberg. “We’re proud to support this outstanding program. And to make our donation go twice as far, we contacted our friends at the Western Union Foundation.”

The Western Union Foundation’s (http://www.westernunionfoundation.org) “Agent Giving Circles” program assists Western Union Agents in supporting their local communities. PLS received dollar-for-dollar matching funds for its contribution to the AYU, for a combined total of $10,000.

“PLS has been very active in the Phoenix and Tucson communities, and we were glad to learn of their support for the AYU,” noted Rob Koewler, Director of Strategic Accounts for Western Union.

“We are delighted and honored to receive this generous donation from PLS and the Western Union Foundation,” said Mike Proctor, VP Outreach and Global Initiatives, University of Arizona. “As a land grant institution, the University of Arizona's mission is to provide educational opportunities, empower individual innovation and create positive impact. This mission begins with youth, the foundation of our future, and we are grateful that you recognize the importance of investing in our region's youngest intellectual capital.

“With your generous donation,” Proctor continued, “the Arizona Youth University will be able to offer scholarships that enable deserving youth to attend camp and explore a specific area, and inspire in them the desire to learn. Many successful futures begin with inspiration—your gift will make a substantial impact.”

“This incredibly generous donation will allow the AYU to offer scholarships for those who are challenged by this economy, allowing children from all parts of our community to learn together while exploring potential future career paths,” added Helen Macdonald, College of Outreach Senior Program Coordinator. “AYU receives no state funds, and this contribution will ensure that deserving children can enjoy these camps for years to come.”

About PLS: People. Location. Service.

The PLS Group (http://www.PLShome.com), headquartered in Chicago, is comprised of more than 300 financial services centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, with more than 3,100 employees. PLS is one of the largest, fastest-growing and most distinguished organizations in the check cashing industry, and is a top performer for Western Union, a money transfer network.

PLS has been listed among Inc. magazine’s “5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America” (http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list) for the past three years, and for three consecutive years has been named one of the “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in Chicago” by the National Association for Business Resources (http://www.101bestandbrightest.com). For the past four years, PLS has been named one of Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies by Crain’s Chicago Business® (http://www.chicagobusiness.com), and was listed among Crain’s “Fast 50” (Fastest Growing Companies). Bob and Dan Wolfberg, PLS Presidents, were finalists for Ernst & Young’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award (http://www.ey.com). In 2011, Bob Wolfberg was recognized by Financial Service Centers of America [FiSCA (http://www.fisca.org)] as its Financial Service Provider of the Year. The company has also been twice honored with the Activa Award from FiSCA in recognition of its charitable efforts.

The PLS Group serves customers through its PLS Check Cashers stores, which offer check cashing, prepaid Visa® debit cards, money transfer services, money orders and bill payments; PLS Loan Store locations, which provide consumer short-term loans, auto insurance and tax-preparation services; and PLS Motor Vehicle Services facilities, which offer vehicle license and registration services.

About Arizona Youth University

The Arizona Youth University is a flexible and affordable program that offers education, enrichment and academic exploration for elementary and high school students through sessions of summer learning and inventive discovery. For more information, visit http://www.ceao.arizona.edu/youth/

About Western Union

The Western Union Company is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 485,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2010, The Western Union Company completed 214 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $76 billion of principal between consumers, and 405 million business payments. For more information, visit http://www.westernunion.com
About the Western Union Foundation

Through Western Union’s Our World, Our Family® signature program, the Western Union Foundation supports initiatives to empower people through access to economic opportunity. Recognized by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in 2009, the program is a five-year, $50 million commitment reflecting efforts made by Western Union employees, agents and partners around the world. Since its inception, the Western Union Foundation has awarded more than $73.8 million in grants to more than 2033 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 120 countries and territories. To learn more, visit http://www.westernunionfoundation.org

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Barb Wolf
PLS
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