Koeppel Auto Group Launches Community Scholarship for Students at P.S. 148Q as Part of the NYC Kids Rise Save for College Program

Koeppel Auto Group makes an initial investment of more than $15,000 in K-5 students at P.S. 148Q; commitment for recurring contributions is first of its kind for Save for College Program

East Elmhurst, NY (June 23, 2023) — Today at P.S. 148Q, The Ruby G. Allen School, the Koeppel Auto Group, as part of the Koeppel Kares initiative, along with school leaders, students and families, launched the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship for students at the school participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. Funded by Koeppel Auto Group’s initial investment of $15,200, the kindergarten through fifth-grade students each received $26 in their NYC Scholarship Accounts. This money is in addition to the initial $100 that NYC Kids RISE invested in each child’s account, and any rewards or Community Scholarships families received for their child’s account so far. The announcement was made during the school’s fifth-grade graduation ceremony on June 23.

Koppel Kares’ donation marks the first recurring contribution commitment for a Community Scholarship. Over the next year (through April 2024), Koeppel Auto Group will donate $20 for each vehicle sold at any of its five Queens locations, spanning from Long Island City to Jackson Heights on Northern Blvd., to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of nearly 600 students at P.S. 148Q participating in the Save for College Program. Koeppel Kares’ commitment to the educational futures of these students underscores how businesses are supporting the success of children in their communities.

“We are thrilled to launch the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship through which we will be regularly contributing to the college and career futures of students at P.S. 148Q The Ruby G. Allen School. The first additional $26 in each of the kindergarten through fifth-grade students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts is just the start of this partnership through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program,” said Susan (Sami) Lacher, Director, Koeppel Auto Group. “The Community Scholarship builds on our 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 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, together our kindergarten through fifth grade students have already accumulated nearly $100,000 for their college and career futures and we are excited for them to view the new Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship in their NYC Scholarship Accounts. I want to thank Koeppel Auto Group and the Koeppel Kares initiative for their support and for their investment in our students’ futures!”

“Having a foundation to start building towards my child’s higher education provides a solid footing for her future,” said Laura Fernandez, parent of a P.S. 148Q 5th grade student in the Save for College Program. “My dream for my daughter is for her to become the best version of herself, reach for the stars, and do what makes her happy. This Program opens the door for the next generation to better themselves and will help them succeed. I am very grateful for this community of support and to know that I am not alone in saving for her future.”

“It means the world to me that my child is moving on to middle school and that there is money already set aside for him that is growing for his future,” said Wendy Rivas, parent of a P.S. 148Q fifth grade student in the Save for College Program. “My dream is for him to achieve and become whatever he wants to be and I know the funds in his NYC Scholarship Account will help him reach his goals. It is an amazing feeling to know that my child is being supported by the community and I hope other families take advantage of what the Save for College Program has to offer.”

The investment from Koeppel Auto Group builds on two other Community Scholarships – the Seamless Community Scholarship and the Community Scholarship Powered by Metlife Foundation – that groups of students at P.S. 148Q have already received. These Community Scholarships, along with the initial $100 seed investment from NYC Kids RISE and rewards families have received for taking foundational steps, such as activating and viewing their child’s account, have led to P.S. 148Q students accumulating nearly $100,000 across their NYC Scholarship Accounts for their future college and career training.

The fifth-grade graduation also marked the school’s first graduating class of students who will have a financial asset for their college education and career training as part of the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. In the fall of 2017, the Save for College Program launched as a pilot in the communities of Queens School District 30 (which included P.S. 148Q) 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. At P.S. 148Q, the 95 founding fifth graders, who are a part of the Program’s pilot class, graduated with close to $20,000 collectively in their NYC Scholarship Accounts, of which nearly $8,000 were contributions from Community Scholarship funds. The Save for College Program expanded last school year from the geography of one school district to the full five boroughs. To date, more than 145,000 students across New York City have over $19 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-driven wealth building platform for New York City neighborhoods. The Program expands access to mainstream financial products; builds individual, family, and collective financial assets; provides financial education for families and students; and brings schools and communities together to support all our children’s futures.

Through the Save for College Program 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 account with an initial $100 seed allocation and opportunities to earn more through early rewards, unless their families choose not to participate. Their families can open and connect a college and career savings account that they own for the benefit of their child, and communities can contribute to groups of these NYC Scholarship Accounts through Community Scholarships as both a targeted and universal platform for community-driven asset-building in every neighborhood. Community Scholarships are a way for communities to leverage their unique assets, institutions, and traditions to visibly and tangibly support their children’s educational futures by contributing to and fundraising for students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts. 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 the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York.

Photo caption: P.S. 148Q The Ruby G. Allen School fifth graders celebrate the Koeppel Kares Community Scholarship through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program at the school’s 5th grade graduation ceremony with Principal Yolanda Harvey and Parent Coordinator Lysette Ramos; Koeppel Auto Group Director Susan (Sami) Lacher; and NYC Kids RISE Founding Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein (June 23, 2023).  Photo by Bridget Ye for NYC Kids RISE.

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