On a recent day in Young AmeriTowne, 10-year-old Ricardo* was having the time of his life. You couldn’t walk past the Market without hearing him call out to customers, and he had a huge smile on his face as he helped customers pay for their products at the cash register. Ricardo and his fellow classmates participated in this beloved program thanks to support from CoBiz Financial, now part of BOK Financial.
Since 2005, CoBiz has supported what is now called Send-A-School, a scholarship initiative that funds low-income school’s participation in AmeriTowne, International Towne, or AmeriTowne On the Road. Approximately one third of participating schools currently qualifies for a scholarship, and no eligible school has been turned away in the history of this program. Scholarships pay for teacher training, curriculum, materials, and the day-in-Towne experience that provides “money smarts for life.”
Students from Ricardo’s school were only able to participate because of Send-a-School. Many families live on a single source of income so they can’t afford the $25 cost to participate. According to Ricardo’s teacher, Mary Mains, “The reason we’re here is because of Send-a-School.”
When you look at students like Ricardo, you see the value of the program. Ricardo, who often struggles academically in school, is a valued member of his business team. “I’ve learned that you have to be nice to the customers to make the store popular. You say things like, ‘How is your day?’ or ‘How can I help you?’” says Ricardo.
Thank you CoBiz Financial for making this experience possible for Ricardo and for more than 8,000 young people every year!
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of a minor.