Koeppel Auto Group Donates More Than $130,000 for Students at P.S. 148 Queens as Part of the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program 

Contributions from local business go to NYC Scholarship Accounts of P.S. 148 Queens K-5 students for their college and career training

April 16, 2024

EAST ELMHURST, NY—Koeppel Auto Group has been selling vehicles for a good cause. As part of the Koeppel Kares initiative, the Queens-based, family-owned automobile company today announced that since Spring 2023 it has donated more than $130,000 for students at P.S. 148 Queens The Ruby G. Allen School with NYC Scholarship Accounts through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.

Koeppel Auto Group’s ongoing contributions for students’ future college and career training is the first recurring commitment for a Community Scholarship through the Save for College Program. Since the initiative kicked off, Koeppel has donated $20 for each vehicle sold at any of its five Queens locations, spanning from Long Island City to Jackson Heights on Northern Boulevard, to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of nearly 600 students at P.S. 148 Queens in the Save for College Program. This Koeppel Kares initiative demonstrates how communities can utilize the Save for College Program as a tool to raise financial assets and how local businesses can support the success of children in their communities. The Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship highlights the auto company’s commitment to the educational futures of these students and underscores the community’s collective expectations of students’ success.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this exciting milestone for the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship. Alongside our recurring contributions to the college and career scholarship accounts of students at P.S. 148 Queens, we have been so happy to see our customers and Koeppel Auto Group team members get involved too by making their own personal donations,” said Susan (Sami) Lacher, Director, Koeppel Auto Group. “The Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship builds on our collective support of P.S. 148Q students through several impactful initiatives with Principal Yolanda Harvey and her amazing team. It’s up to us as neighbors and the community to support all our children throughout their educational journeys so they can have a well-balanced, successful life and tangible assets to pursue their dreams.”

“At the heart of Community Scholarships is the idea that students and families are not alone on their journey toward their college and career goals,” said NYC Kids RISE Founding Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein. “A regular contribution from a local business like Koeppel serves as a model for other local businesses by demonstrating how they can tangibly support the college and career futures of students in their communities.”

“Community Scholarships send a powerful message to children in our school that their community believes in them and is planning far ahead so they can reach their goals and be whatever they want to be when they grow up,” said Yolanda Harvey, Principal of P.S. 148Q The Ruby G. Allen School. “Here at P.S. 148Q, our current kindergarten through fifth grade students already have more than $190,000 across their NYC Scholarship Accounts to support their college and career dreams. We are so excited for students and families to continue seeing the money in their NYC Scholarship Accounts grow with the ongoing contributions from the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship. I want to thank Koeppel Auto Group and the Koeppel Kares initiative for their support and for their investment in our students’ futures!”

“Every month, we are so excited to see more money being added to my son’s NYC Scholarship Account for his college and career training through the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship,” said Maria Vega, parent of a P.S. 148Q second grade student in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. “This support from the community for his future means a lot to our family and sends a powerful message to students and families across our school that we believe in their dreams.”

Launched in partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and City of New York with founding and ongoing support from the Gray Foundation in 2017, the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a universal community wealth-building platform designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for NYC public school students. Community Scholarships—a core component of the platform—enable local organizations, businesses, neighbors, and other institutions to direct funds and fundraise for students’ educational savings by leveraging local resources to build financial wealth in and with communities that have historically faced systemic barriers to wealth-building.

Since the Program began, students attending P.S. 148Q have accumulated more than $190,000 across their NYC Scholarship Accounts through rewards and Community Scholarships, including the Seamless Community Scholarship, the Community Scholarship Powered by Metlife Foundation, the Superintendent Philip A. Composto Community Scholarship, and now the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship.

By combining seed scholarships, family savings, community investments, and funding streams from every level, the Program can build significant assets for public school students, especially low-income students of color.

To date, more than 200,000 students across New York City have nearly $30 million invested in their NYC Scholarship Accounts for their educational futures.

About NYC Kids RISE

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a community tool New Yorkers can use to build wealth in their neighborhoods and support the college and career dreams of their children. The public-private-community partnership provides NYC public school students, starting in kindergarten, with financial resources for college and career training and support from their communities to achieve their goals. Students also receive age-appropriate financial education in the classroom through related curriculum extensions.

NYC Kids RISE is a nonprofit organization managing the Save for College Program in partnership with NYC Public Schools and the City of New York. In the fall of 2017, the Save for College Program launched as a pilot in the communities of Queens School District 30 through a partnership between NYC Kids RISE, the NYC Department of Education, and the City of New York, with founding and ongoing support from the Gray Foundation. After the successful pilot, the Save for College Program was included in the Juneteenth Economic Justice Plan by the City’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity.

Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, and every year going forward, students in eligible grades enrolled in an NYC public elementary school (including participating charter schools) automatically receive an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan with an initial $100 and opportunities to earn more through early rewards and Community Scholarships, unless their families choose not to participate.

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