Citywide Banks Sponsoring Unique High School Program That Uses Entrepreneurship to Promote Mental Health Wellness

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Citywide Banks is sponsoring the FIRE Within team at Aurora Central High School in the annual entrepreneurial competition focused on creating social enterprises that promote suicide prevention. FIRE Within is a program coordinated by the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, which recruits over 30 teams from schools around Colorado. The bank’s participation further extends its ongoing commitment to enhancing mental health wellness across the Front Range.

“It is so inspiring to see the creativity and passion that happens among the student teams,” commented Steve Ebner, marketing director at Citywide Banks. “Both mental health wellness and entrepreneurship are two cornerstone passions of our bank. We are thrilled to be part of this important youth program that brings them together.”

Each Fire Within team meets regularly (some as an accredited class) throughout the year to discuss the mental health needs, challenges, and opportunities within their local student base and surrounding community. Then, the teams use a business planning curriculum from Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain to create a product, information campaign, or service that can help promote mental health wellness and suicide prevention. The students develop a comprehensive business plan and then launch their social enterprise prior to the end of the school year.

Citywide Banks representatives and Aurora Central High School Students launch FIRE Within program

Citywide Banks representatives and Aurora Central High School Students launch FIRE Within program

The importance of such programs is clear given that suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth in the United States. Results from previous FIRE Within initiatives include an increased interest in social entrepreneurship, as well as significant increase in student interest in the program’s topics including social enterprise, a deeper understanding of leadership strengths as well as societal mental health issues. Schools participating in the program over the course of multiple years hold 31.82% more positive attitudes about mental health and are 84% more likely to experience a positive change toward mental health. To learn more about FIRE Within, go to http://www.carsonjspencer.org/programs/fire-within/ .

About Carson J. Spencer Foundation
The Carson J. Spencer Foundation is a Colorado nonprofit, established in 2005. It promotes multiple programs centered around suicide prevention and mental health wellness. For more information, please visit www.carsonjspencer.org.

About Citywide Banks
Colorado owned and family operated since 1963, Citywide Banks specializes in commercial lending, deposit accounts and treasury management solutions for businesses throughout Denver and Boulder. The bank operates 12 branches and has more than $1.3 billion in assets. The bank and its team of more than 230 employees are proud supporters of hundreds of Colorado charities through employee volunteering, financial contributions, and social media awareness campaigns. For more information, please visit the bank’s website at www.CitywideBanks.com. Citywide Banks is Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.

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