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KeyBank Foundation Invests in Appalachian Ohio Students


New Endowment Fund Will Support Growth of FAO’s Annual Scholarship Program

Nelsonville, OH – Each year, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) awards hundreds of scholarships to students across the 32 Ohio counties it serves. In 2017, FAO awarded 277 scholarships worth more than $320,000 and are expecting to award even more in 2018. In Ohio’s Appalachian region, where there are nine times fewer philanthropic dollars for grants and scholarships, these dollars are especially vital. With a new $250,000 investment from the KeyBank Foundation, FAO sees a way for its scholarship program to grow stronger, faster for the children of Appalachia.

FAO is pleased to announce the $250,000 commitment from KeyBank Foundation will create the KeyBank Education Scholarship Endowment Fund to support the expansion and enhancement of the Foundation’s scholarship program. This new contribution builds upon KeyBank’s deep-rooted support of Appalachian Ohio through philanthropic commitments to FAO.

“We are so grateful for KeyBank’s commitment to our communities in Appalachian Ohio,” said FAO President & CEO Cara Dingus Brook. “This gift will make a meaningful impact not only on how we serve our region’s students, but how our students can then make a difference in Appalachian Ohio and beyond.”

In the past year FAO has experienced a 100% increase in scholarships under management. This brings about great opportunities in Appalachian Ohio, but also requires FAO to grow its capacity to administer a quickly growing program that can better serve students and the funds supporting them. KeyBank’s new endowed fund will support upgrading technology for scholarship applications, which will in turn increase our ability to continue to expand our scholarship program, serving the citizens of Appalachian Ohio and making access to education more attainable. This Fund will also support FAO’s efforts to make more meaningful connections between our scholarship donors and the awardees.

“Supporting our rural communities is critical to a thriving Ohio economy,” shared Karen A. White, Senior VP, Community Relations and Senior Program Officer of the KeyBank Foundation. “Our relationship with FAO is a great source of pride for KeyBank and is an important piece of our philanthropic strategy. Through the FAO scholarship program, we will provide educational opportunities for more students across Appalachian Ohio.”

In the future, as FAO’s scholarship program grows, this Fund will transition into serving students directly with scholarship awards for their post-secondary pursuits. Through KeyBank’s investment, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio will see an evolution of their program followed by increased investment in the educational dreams of the region’s students.

To learn more about FAO’s scholarship program and how KeyBank’s investment will help the Foundation expand its scholarship program, please visit or call 740.753.1111.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.8 billion at June 30, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit