Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

KeyBank Foundation’s Impact: Funding Education and Green Spaces in Canton


The KeyBank Foundation has generously provided grant funds to Stark State and ArtsInStark, with the aim of improving the Canton community and its surroundings. Stark State was the recipient of a $35,000 grant, which will be used to provide 50 scholarships, each worth $500, for students living in Stark and Summit Counties who are enrolled in a certificate or degree program at the institution.

Currently, Stark State offers over 230 high-quality associate degrees and certificate programs in various fields such as business, education, engineering, health and public services, information technology, liberal arts, CDL, welding, mathematics and sciences. All scholarship recipients will be residents of Stark or Summit counties, with a focus on students from underserved communities and low-to-moderate income families.

KeyBank has been a strong supporter of Stark State, providing $135,000 in grant funding since 2015. Mattie Jones-Hollowell, KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Officer, expressed the company’s belief in the importance of access to higher education for all, regardless of financial circumstances. She praised the quality of programs at Stark State and expressed pride in KeyBank’s role in supporting students’ educational journeys.

Para M. Jones, PhD, president of Stark State College, expressed gratitude to the KeyBank Foundation for their continued financial support, which helps students in Summit and Stark counties complete degrees and certificates in high-demand fields. She highlighted that their students graduate and work for local companies and employers, contributing to the development of the workforce of today and tomorrow.

In addition to Stark State, KeyBank also awarded a $25,000 grant to ArtsInStark to support the proposed Arts Pocket Park, which would be located on the grounds of the Cultural Center for the Arts. The park aims to introduce green space into an area of Canton that currently lacks such space. Proposed features include play mounds, gardens, a terrace, walking promenade, ornamental fencing, and traffic-calming features.

The park plan also includes a performance and audience space that can be used by Cultural Center residents Canton Ballet Company and Sing Stark, as well as non-resident theatre companies with significant education programs and the community around the park.

Emil Alecusan, Interim President and CEO of ArtsinStark, expressed appreciation for KeyBank’s contribution to their pocket park project. He highlighted that the outdoor learning space will serve underserved youth with educational and life skills activities, and it will also be used by the Cultural Center’s Art Museum for youth and adult art instruction. He also thanked KeyBank for their support of ArtsinStark’s education programming for the past 10 years.

ArtsInStark believes that the space will create a place where people can meet and socialize, and where children can play and learn. Research shows that green spaces provide opportunities for recreation, help improve physical and mental health, and enhance the quality of life.

“The Arts Pocket Park will not only provide usable park space for our neighbors, but it will also encourage community collaboration amongst children, families and students,” said Jones-Hollowell. “A space that will inspire learning and growing.”