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Hardy Mendez Fund

Join other alumni and donors and raise four-year scholarships for students with extreme need and the most challenging circumstances.

In just two years, the Hardy Mendez Fund has raised nearly $400,000 and supports current students with four-year scholarships.

Hardy Mendez recipients are academically qualified students with strong financial need who have overcome difficult circumstances to attend Canisius.

Donate to the Hardy Mendez Fund today by going to the "Make Your Gift" page and selecting "Hardy Mendez Angel Fund" from the drop-down menu. 

Make Your Gift

The inspiration behind the Hardy Mendez Fund

Michael Hardy, CFP ’96 (right) is the founder of Ocean Wealth Group. Dan Mendez ’90 (left) is the managing partner for Diverse Funding Associates, LLC.

They are two men from challenging upbringings who credit Canisius with changing the trajectory of their lives.

Mike Hardy '96 had a troubled past. His dad was a bowling alley mechanic and his mom wasn't in the picture. Mike ended up in foster care and eventually back with dad in Springville, where he lived in poverty. He enrolled at Canisius as a freshman, but it wasn't long before he was living on his own. He rented an apartment for $200 dollars a month and worked at Bob & John's Pizza to cover the cost. Mike's mom passed away from an overdose, then his dad died from cancer shortly thereafter. Mike was in no way prepared for the rigors of Canisius. He was one foot out the door.

One day a teacher said, "Hardy, you had better get your act together or you're going to have a long four years here at Canisius." Those words made Mike feel like he belonged. Fr. Ciancimino helped find tuition assistance so Mike could stay at Canisius. He found support, friendships and direction playing sports for school, but most importantly, he found a school that was tough, compassionate, and believed in him no matter what.

Dan Mendez '90 came from Bogota, Columbia to Cheektowaga with a single mom who was focused on starting the Food Bank of WNY while living on minimum wage. Dan desired structure and knowledge, but Canisius was only possible because of financial aid. Dan also saw Canisius as a life-changing experience which gave him a moral and educational foundation to grow as a person and to give back.

Mike and Dan have partnered to provide the opportunity for a Jesuit education to a young man with a difficult past or present circumstance and who may not be able to attend Canisius due to lack of financial means or extreme social/environmental dysfunction.

The fund has raised nearly $400,000 for students for whom a CHS education was thought to be beyond their reach.

They're just getting started.

Donate to the Hardy Mendez Fund today by going to the "Make Your Gift" page and selecting "Hardy Mendez Angel Fund" from the drop-down menu. 

Make Your Gift