KeyBank Donates Funding to Help Establish a Young Entrepreneurs Academy in the Finger Lakes
For Immediate Release
Funds will help establish program to provide educational and scholarship opportunities for area teens
(AUBURN) – To provide the young people of the Finger Lakes region with a dynamic educational program on business and free enterprise, KeyBank is pleased to announce the KeyBank Foundation is making a substantial donation to LOCATE FINGER LAKES, a newly formed regional economic development initiative. This grant is part of the bank’s five year Community Benefits Plan.
The $60,000 grant, given over three years, will help LOCATE FINGER LAKES establish a Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in the region that will provide business and free enterprise focused educational and scholarship opportunities for middle and high school students.
“Supporting organizations that help our community thrive is our mission and purpose,” said Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President. “The LOCATE FINGER LAKES YEA! program will give young people the opportunity to learn and grow, and also explore careers that will keep them here in the Finger Lakes Region. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy will help the KeyBank Foundation to fulfill its goal of supporting small business development in our community by training our future leaders and helping them to establish strong, lasting relationships with their hometown business community.”
“KeyBank’s support provides the essential foundation needed to assist LOCATE FINGER LAKES establish the YEA! initiative,” said its founder, Jack Bisgrove. “We are very grateful to Key Bank for their assistance, and strongly believe the YEA! program will have a transformative impact for students in the region. LOCATE FINGER LAKES is thrilled to establish the next region in the nation to adopt the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This program will enhance business education for students and provide a unique, challenging and fulfilling experience for all participants. LOCATE FINGER LAKES is encouraging community colleges, school districts and BOCES within the region to participate in this nationally recognized program.”
“YEA! offers a unique model that helps bridge the business and academic communities together, while creating meaningful ties to the area for students. We are excited about launching this expansion in the Finger Lakes region”, said YEA! Founder and CEO Gayle Jagel. “YEA! aims to teach students at an early age how to make a job, not just take a job. Young entrepreneurs with the right training can become a powerful force of innovative thinkers and job producers.”
The YEA! Program
YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes students ages 11 to 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.
The YEA! program has been tremendously impactful in locations nationwide with the over 9,000 graduates of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy having started more than 6,000 businesses while in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program. Current national sponsors of the YEA! program are the United States Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Airlines and Sam’s Club.
The program connects the local business community to the youth and the schools in the area, bringing them together numerous times throughout the course of the program, as well as the excitement and professionalism of the YEA! Saunders Scholars National Competition.
The YEA! Saunders Scholars National Competition is a national college scholarship competition held annually in May in Rochester, New York in partnership with the Saunders Foundation and the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Business leaders have supported the YEA! program because it allows them to give back to their community in a manner that fosters the entrepreneurial spirit of their community’s youth, while creating invaluable networking connections for all of those involved.
The YEA! mission is to work with local leaders of industry, community members and educators to develop a robust curriculum and deliver experience based entrepreneurship programs to young people to:
- Help them transition successfully to adulthood;
- Help them pursue their dreams by harnessing their creativity and energy
- Enable educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce to provide successful and effective entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students