Banking on Youth - Announcing the Finalists!

Want to see change in action? Just look to our nation’s young people.

Six young entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists in the Banking on Youth competition sponsored by the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) Foundation, Ashoka’s Youth Venture, and member banks across the country.

The competition invited young people, ages 13 to 20, to submit a 90-second video pitch explaining their idea for a venture that will directly enhance society.

The top six talents, along with 55 regional winners, were handpicked out of more than 170 proposals for their creative and empowering initiatives. From Oakland to Illinois, these budding innovators have dreamed up some amazing solutions to promote clean air, healthy living, and community service.

Congratulations to the finalists!

  • Lauren Behgam, The Food Recovery Network – A growing college campus initiative that donates excess food from dining halls and sports events to local homeless shelters.
  • Jonny Cohen, GreenShields – An aerodynamic device—supported by Northwestern University’s Engineering school—designed to make school buses more energy efficient.
  • Chris Collins & Oscar Eclov-Reher: School Scoop (Helping Hands) - School Scoop is a web and smartphone app was developed to notify high school students of campus activities and community volunteer programs.
  • Jamelah Issac, The Healthy Neighborhood Store Alliance – This youth-powered business partners with corner stores in West Oakland to deliver fruits and vegetables to residents who lack access to healthier choices.
  • Yoni Kalin, Color My World – The Color My World Project (CMW) collects discarded crayons from national chain restaurants and donates them to shelters and elementary schools in need.
  • Rigo Santoyo, Youth Speak Media Solutions – A program that teaches students film, photography, and design skills in order to develop media packages for local businesses and non-profits.

“It is clear to see the difference our partner banks can make by seeding the ingenuity and initiative of these young people,” said Gretchen Zucker, Executive Director of Ashoka’s Youth Venture. “Each of these innovative ventures will touch the lives of hundreds of people, if not thousands, while equipping the youth with the changemaker skills they need for success in school, work and life.”

Each finalist will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in a “pitch-off” at this year’s Youth Venture Summit for chance to win a $5,000 Audience Choice Award or the Grand Prize of $15,000.

Visit Banking on Youth to watch all of the winning videos and stay tuned to see who will take home the grand “pitch-off” prize on July 28th!