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Young Entrepreneurs Alliance named Champion in Action in Massachusetts

Citizens Bank and NECN provide $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

Boston    (February 4, 2010) - Citizens Bank and NECN today announced that Young Entrepreneurs Alliance has been recognized as a Champion in Action® for the first quarter of 2010 in the area of workforce development. YEA is a business leadership program dedicated to helping teens transform their lives and futures through the empowering experience of running their own businesses. The innovative three-year program teaches teens to lead and manage a real, income-generating enterprise based in their schools.

"Citizens Bank is proud to join NECN in naming Young Entrepreneurs Alliance as our newest Champion in Action," said Stephen R. Woods, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. "YEA’s hands-on approach to business education, gives teens the confidence and skills they need to succeed, both personally and professionally. YEA opens doors to a future of college, employment and financial independence."

YEA collaborates closely with vocational and middle-school teachers and faculty, corporate and individual sponsors, business mentors and local colleges to provide a dynamic project-based curriculum that teaches participants core business, team leadership and interpersonal skills. YEA operates programs in six Boston-area schools where teens are successfully running businesses in digital design, electronic document management and in-school retail. These teen-led companies serve real clients, from individual customers and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Young Entrepreneurs Alliance is being recognized for:

  • Assisting more than 800 teens since 2001 to take lasting steps toward personal and professional success.
  • Having a strong success rate where more than 98 percent of YEA participants successfully complete high school on time and more than 80 percent continue on to higher education.
  • Helping 150 teens in Massachusetts today successfully run businesses in  collaboration with six Boston-area schools including Assabet Valley Technical High School in Marlboro, Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Allston; Fuller, Walsh and Cameron Middle Schools in Framingham and Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury.
  • Developing the Stairway to Success initiative – YEA’s package of curriculum, training and support services – for use in schools and other settings throughout Massachusetts and beyond.

As a Champion in Action, Young Entrepreneurs Alliance receives:

  • A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
  • Media coverage from NECN, including public service announcements, news stories and segments on other NECN programs such as Broadside: The News with Jim Braude and Business Day.
  • Volunteer support from Citizens and NECN employees.
  • Public relations support.
  • Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATM screens.
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and NECN Web sites.>

"We believe every teen has the potential to make a positive mark on the world. YEA gives teens the life-changing experience of running their own business and building the confidence, skills and experience they need to succeed" said Julie Nessen, YEA’s Executive Director. "This award from Citizens Bank and NECN will help YEA continue to enhance our efforts to prepare under-served students throughout Massachusetts for successful transitions to college and into 21st century careers."

Since introducing the program in 2002, Citizens has awarded $750,000 to 30 Massachusetts organizations. A new Champion in Action® is selected each quarter among four social service categories.

For more information about the Citizens / NECN Champions in Action® program, please visit citizensbank.com/community or necn.com. To learn more about how to contribute to Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, please visit www.YEAworks.org 

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 253 branches and 527 ATMs in Massachusetts.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $151 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets as of June 30, 2009. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

About NECN

NECN is the largest regional news network in the country, serving more than 3.7 million homes in more than 1,000 cities and towns throughout New England. Launched on March 2, 1992, NECN is owned by Comcast and provides 24-hour access to breaking news, sports, weather, and traffic. The award-winning NECN is a two-time winner of The Associated Press’ News Station of the Year Award and a 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting. Visit www.NECN.com for more information.