Deciding on a college, and a career to pursue once high school is over, can be difficult for any student. For those in economically disadvantaged areas, making those choices can be especially challenging

A new program offered through Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, seeks to address the needs of at-risk high schoolers by giving them the tools they need to excel at college and go on to successful careers. As part of its commitment to helping communities thrive, the KeyBank Foundation provided $120,000 toward MCC’s program.

Investing in Education

“KeyBank Foundation’s investment of $120,000 in MCC’s Early College Career Pathway Program will help high school students from neighborhoods impacted by poverty connect their education to in-demand careers earlier,” noted MCC President Anne M. Kress in speaking about the award to the MCC Foundation Board of Directors. “KeyBank’s support will help ensure students graduate with job-ready credentials that are linked to meaningful and sustaining careers. In turn, MCC’s graduates will help employers grow. We appreciate and value KeyBank’s partnership to help students and families realize their goals of greater financial security and dreams of brighter futures through higher education.”

Giving High School Students a Jumpstart at College Success

Students who take part in the program will be able to earn 15 college credit hours, or a full semester’s worth of credit, once they complete the program and graduate from high school. As part of the program, each student receives individualized attention and instruction, along with accelerated college orientation during high school to help them toward a smooth transition to college.

“Through this significant, generous gift, KeyBank Foundation demonstrates its support of MCC’s role in preparing individuals for thriving futures in our region,” said MCC Chief Advancement Officer Gretchen Wood, CFRE, speaking at the same board meeting. “Our partnership with KeyBank will impact the lives of 30 students per semester beginning this fall and provide resources for MCC to continue its margin of excellence.”

Helping Build a Strong Workforce

Currently, MCC is in the process of recruiting students to participate, focusing especially on those ages 17 to 19 with significant economic need.

“This program will help put young people on the pathway to career success and help employers and industries in the Rochester area fill a large void,” explained KeyBank Rochester Market President James Barger. “KeyBank proudly supports MCC’s Early College Career Pathway Program and looks forward to hearing about the many success stories that are sure to come from it.”