Peppercomm and Nonprofit Program Youth About Business Partner to Tackle Education for Underserved High School Students

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Agency Providing Pro Bono Marketing Communications Services to Increase Awareness of Youth Organization

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81 percent of high school students graduated on time, with 65.9 percent of those graduates going on to college. But disparities still persist for some demographics, with some only reaching a 68 percent graduation rate. It’s with these alarming stats in mind that today, Peppercomm, an award-winning strategic, integrated communications and marketing firm, announces its official partnership with Youth About Business (YAB), a nonprofit business education program benefitting teenagers in underserved communities. Based in Nashville, YAB’s mission is to expose youth to the business world through an experiential learning model, fostering the development of business literacy and leadership skills necessary to be more successful in school and in life. The partnership entails a full year’s worth of pro bono communications counseling for the organization.

“Youth About Business’s sole mission is to introduce high school students to the world of business and ensure they develop the negotiation, leadership and technical skills necessary to succeed in college and their careers,” said Ted Birkhahn, president and partner at Peppercomm. “As their partner, Peppercomm’s purpose is to raise awareness of YAB nationally among students, educators and sponsors so the program can grow exponentially and impact as many U.S. high school students as possible.”

Sam Kirk, founder of YAB added, “YAB’s interactive learning experience in which students participate in mock acquisitions of real companies demystifies the world of business for underserved youth who typically have very little, if any, exposure to how the worlds of finance, marketing, accounting and consulting work. Our biggest challenge has always been making sure more students and educators are aware of the program, and with Peppercomm’s help, we hope to generate significant attention for our program and its impact on students nationwide.”

Students who participate in YAB’s programs boast a 98 percent high school graduation rate with many pursuing degrees at two- and four-year colleges, including YAB university sponsors Vanderbilt University, Columbia University and Emory University. In addition, many students from low-income and diverse families have emerged from the program as interns and full-time employees at several of YAB’s sponsor organizations. YAB's sponsors include Moody's Corporation, Nissan North America, EY, McGraw Hill Financial, Nomura Securities, Hospital Corporation of America, Sony Corporation, Beecher Carlson, M & T Bank, Norton Rose Fulbright, Alston & Bird, King & Spalding, Kenny Pipe & Supply, Shelby County Schools, and Hattiesburg Public Schools. Foundations that have helped sponsor the organization include The Memorial Foundation, The Stringer Foundation, The Scarlett Family Foundation, The Ryman Hospitality Foundation and The Charles Hayden Foundation.

Previously, Peppercomm has provided pro bono counsel to Young Survival Coalition and the US Military Academy at West Point. The firm has also organized fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans Association (IAVA).

Anyone interested in supporting the program through volunteering or donations can contact Sam Kirk at YAB1SKirk(at)gmail(dot)com.

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About Youth About Business
Youth About Business is a leadership-training program for youth in underserved communities that aims to introduce high school students to the world of business and finance. Founded in 1992 as a project of Creating an Environment of Success (CES), a Tennessee based 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation, YAB offers multiple programs that provide entrepreneurial and leadership training to high school students in
Chicago, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, and New York. Additional information about YAB can be found at http://www.youthaboutbusiness.org/ or at http://www.facebook.com/YouthAboutBusiness.

About Peppercomm
Peppercomm, Inc., an award-winning strategic, integrated communications and marketing firm headquartered in New York City with offices in San Francisco and London, prides itself on listening first, last and always. The firm’s tagline: “Listen. Engage. Repeat.” emphasizes the unique approach Peppercomm takes in understanding exactly how a client can engage in authentic conversations with its audience. Peppercomm was ranked No. 1 in Crain’s New York Business Best Places to Work 2012 and in 2013, was honored with two Silver Anvils and the PR News campaign of the year. More information about the agency may be found at http://www.peppercomm.com.

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Paul Merchan
Peppercomm
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