Keys to Success: KeyBank Foundation Grant Brings College and Career Readiness to Dayspring Teens

Westhab and KeyBank Foundation are teaming up to bring college and career readiness to Dayspring teens! With a generous $240,000 grant from the KeyBank Foundation, the program will create a pipeline to college and careers for low-income students at Dayspring Community Center. Starting September 2024, the program will support 30 9th to 12th-grade students from Dayspring’s youth program in proactively exploring and choosing the post-secondary path that suits them best. 

“I grew up in Yonkers; this is the kind of investment our neighborhood needs,” shared Dayspring Director JC Soto. “Nodine Hill of Southwest Yonkers (where Dayspring is located) has a poverty rate that is double that of all of Westchester County. Increasing college readiness and providing resources to advance their skills in careers with livable wages will allow teens to earn higher incomes, translating into better life outcomes, including health, wealth, and happiness.”  

To develop the program, Westhab will work with Yonkers Partners In Education (YPIE), a Westchester-based nonprofit with expertise in ensuring students are ready for, enroll, and complete college. Staff will provide ongoing tutoring and academic support to the cohort and ultimately assist them in navigating and completing the college application process, including completing financial aid enrollment and coordinating college visits and applications. 

Recognizing entrepreneurial trends in the workforce and student feedback, the program will also help students not interested in college plot a post-secondary path. Staff will assess teens’ skills and interests and, through partnerships with programmers and guest speakers, help inspire potential career pathways. Participants will be connected to additional supports, such as Dayspring’s Employment Services, to help actualize their plans. 

Over three years, the program hopes to make more significant shifts in the trajectory of the community. “This generous investment by KeyBank Foundation will help individual students but also aims to create a more lasting change in the community by nurturing an ongoing college-ready culture for high school students and addressing significant education and income gaps. We hope to broaden futures and disrupt cycles of inequality that we see in Nodine Hill,” said Mr. Soto.

“Supporting the communities in which we work is a core value of KeyBank. We are proud to be a part of paving the path to increased college access and fulfilling careers with livable wages for these teens,” said John Manginelli, KeyBank Hudson Valley/Metro New York Market President.  

Header Picture Caption: Rich Nightingale, President & CEO of Westhab; John Manginelli, KeyBank Hudson Valley/Metro New York Market President; and JC Soto, Director of the Dayspring Community Center, celebrate the new programming in the Teen Center at Dayspring Community Center. 

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