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Key supports educational programs for high school, college students in Colorado

By Amy Thomas in Community Posted August 15, 2017

Sponsorship of diversity, leadership and internship programs inspires next generation of banking and finance professionals

KeyBank’s Colorado market, Key Equipment Finance, and the KeyBank Foundation, all affiliates of KeyCorp, today announced the conclusion of the KeyBank Excel Summer Bridge Program at the University of Colorado Boulder, part of its combined $300,000 commitment over three years, through 2018, to support leadership, diversity and internship programs benefitting high school and college students in Colorado.

The support continues 15 years of commitments to Colorado students, including mentoring from Key employees and other non-financial and program sponsorships for CU’s Leeds School of Business, which is located just down the road from Key Equipment Finance’s corporate headquarters in Superior, Colorado.

“Key believes in investing in the long-term growth of young people across the continuum of high school to college to internship to career, with a particular focus on underrepresented student populations,” said Adam D. Warner, president of Key Equipment Finance and member of the Leeds School of Business Board of Alumni and Friends. “Our 15-year relationship with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business is an integral part of our corporate citizenship and supports vital programs for students to attain the skills they need for successful careers and lives.”

The partnership between Key and CU includes:

  • The KeyBank Business Leadership Program, coordinated with the CU Leeds School of Business Office of Diversity Affairs, brings together 35-40 high school juniors and seniors who are first-generation, low-income, underrepresented students of color, and/or women from across the state to CU campus for a one-week, on-campus business intensive experience. Participants are grouped into teams and matched with seven corporate partners, including Key Equipment Finance and KeyBank, for a competitive business challenge. Besides exposure to real-world business experiences, participants also attend a signature KeyBank Etiquette Dinner. All winners of the challenge are presented scholarships and become KeyBank Scholars should they attend CU.
  • The KeyBank Excel Summer Bridge Program, which brings together almost 60 incoming freshmen who are first-generation college students from low income families to participate in a three-week experience that readies them for success at CU Leeds. The program focuses on business math readiness, improving critical thinking skills and introducing students to the rigors of business coursework.
  • The Leeds School of Business CoLab, a one-day event that is part of freshmen orientation, and CU case competitions.
  • Other non-financial support, including staff mentors through the Young Alumni Program and Professional Mentor Program, and employee support for various workshops and the Sophomore Summit, which puts Leeds sophomores through a series of sessions on general career development, resume writing and other topics.
KEF_Interns_Team Photo on 55th FloorIMG_0628.jpg

In addition, Key Equipment Finance provides up to seven paid summer internships each year to give college students meaningful work experience and a chance to explore other career options by meeting employees across the business. Interns also travel to KeyCorp headquarters in Cleveland to join with more than 140 interns from across the country. Key also invites CU student applicants to attend summits in Cleveland for the exploration of careers in banking, including the Women in Corporate & Investment Banking Summit, Campus Summit and Diversity Summit.

“I knew that when I made the transition into college, getting as much support as possible was going to be critical to my success,” said CJ Manning, a Denver native and past Business Leadership Program participant, counselor and counselor coordinator. “I really appreciated the Business Leadership Program because it was an opportunity for me to begin to connect with individuals -- both students and staff -- who were going to be critical in that process.”

Manning went on to do two internships with Key before graduating from CU Leeds School of Business and being hired as a corporate banking analyst in KeyBank’s Enterprise Commercial Payments Group.

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