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Students benefit from Key's 15-year partnership with University of Colorado Leeds School of Business

By Amy Thomas in Community Posted September 26, 2016

At Key Equipment Finance, KeyBank, and across the entire KeyCorp family, philanthropy is seen as a vital component of corporate citizenship. For the past 15 years, a partnership with the University of Colorado – located in Boulder, just down the road from Key Equipment Finance’s headquarters – has been an important part of that philosophy.

leedsleadership.jpgFrom financial contributions to board positions to summer programs for students, giving back to the University of Colorado fits perfectly with the KeyBank Foundation and the company’s overall commitment to programs that support thriving students.

Providing direct learning experiences for students

Perhaps the most important programs to come from the partnership between Key and the University of Colorado are those that provide direct learning experiences for students. The Summer Bridge Program, for example, brings together 30 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 the Leeds School of Business and the greater University of Colorado community.

Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program focuses on business math readiness, improving critical thinking skills and introducing students to the rigor of business coursework. Participants from the 2014 pilot program saw average math assessment scores rise from of 57% to 81% and self-reported a dramatic increase in confidence levels around their preparation to meet Leeds School of Business faculty expectations.

Business_Leadership_Group_Photos_0020PC.JPG.jpgKeyBank Business Leadership Program 

The KeyBank Business Leadership Program is another program that supports first generation and low income students from diverse backgrounds. Each June, 36 high school juniors and seniors from across Colorado and the nation convene on the University of Colorado campus for a one-week residential business intensive experience.

Participants in the KeyBank Business Leadership Program are grouped into teams of six and matched with a corporate partner. The teams are guided by two current Leeds School of Business student counselors as they work to create and present a multi-media image campaign for their corporate partner, which includes industry research and interviews with a company representative. Each person on the winning team receives a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Colorado.

Leeds School of Business Corporate Partner Service Award

In 2015, the University of Colorado presented KeyBank with the Leeds School of Business Corporate Partner Service Award, which acknowledges the company for its long-standing commitment to and partnership with the Leeds School of Business. Thirteen graduates from the business school have gone on to become employees of Key Equipment Finance through its Sales ACT (Accelerated Career Track) rotational program, and the company has also hired many interns, with a good number becoming employees after graduation.

Bridge_Program_at_KEF.jpgKey also has supported the Leeds School of Business with:

  • Employee volunteer hours
  • Mentoring of students
  • Financial support
  • Innovative programs

In addition, Key Equipment Finance president Adam D. Warner is a longtime member of the Leeds School of Business Board of Alumni and Friends. “The KeyBank partnership supports educational opportunities for first generation, low income and underrepresented students to pursue their studies in business,” states a video from CU recognizing KeyBank. “To invest in students who are often overlooked, under-supported and underestimated is indeed heroic work. This is truest partnership one could imagine.”

Learn more about Key’s partnership with the University of Colorado, click the button below:

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