HOUSTON and NEW YORK, April 26, 2013 -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation through its 501(c)(3) private foundation the Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. announced the funding of nearly $1.25 million in grants for thirty-two South Bronx programs in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment and health to serve the local community. CITGO created the Bronx Social Programs in 2007 to promote a brighter future for the South Bronx, where 38 percent of the population lives below the poverty line in one of the poorest Congressional Districts in the United States.

“The Simón Bolívar Foundation is dedicated to building solidarity through support, which is an integral part of the social responsibility mission of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. We know that real, lasting change comes from within the community. That is why initiatives like this are so important,” said Dario Merchán, President of the Simón Bolívar Foundation. “We are proud to support leaders in the South Bronx community who share our vision and commitment of improving the quality of life for those impacted by poverty.”

An advisory board of South Bronx residents, educators, community organizers and other leaders reviewed nearly 100 grant applications and recommended 32 programs that were selected by the Simón Bolívar Foundation to receive funding. They were chosen based on strict criteria and their potential to generate the greatest possible positive social and community impact. Since 2007, CITGO and the Simón Bolívar Foundation have provided more than $6 million in grants to more than 70 unique, tax-exempt, South Bronx-based organizations.

The 2013 grants include seven arts and culture programs, seven environmental initiatives, seven health, and 11 education-focused programs. The selected programs range from after-school initiatives, arts and culture events to an urban farming project and green jobs training.

“By committing to sustained learning opportunities along an educational pathway, DreamYard supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action.  We believe that young people in the South Bronx need a continuous set of supports to help them towards positive outcomes as they navigate their educational pathway. We are extremely appreciative of the Simón Bolívar Foundation and CITGO for their generous support of our efforts for the last three years and those of other organizations that strive to make a difference in the South Bronx,” said Jason Duchin, co-executive director of The DreamYard Project.

Together with community leaders, CITGO and the Simón Bolívar Foundation are committed to working to improve the lives of the people of the South Bronx as part of the ongoing commitment to supporting the underprivileged and their community. Every year, in alignment with the social development principles of its ultimate shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, CITGO helps ease the burden of many families across the country through social responsibility contributions, including the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil and Energy Efficient Lighting Programs, the Fueling Good initiative, its position as the largest corporate sponsor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many others.

The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. is a 501(c) (3) private foundation funded by CITGO Petroleum Corporation and also receives contributions from CITGO employees and the general public. The Foundation operates in the hope of improving the quality of life for all people, particularly those who suffer from the severe backlash of poverty throughout the Americas. For more information visit www.simonbolivarfoundation.org.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information visit www.CITGO.com.