First Niagara's Day of Mentoring Yields Fresh Ideas

September 27, 2013 Updated May 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM EDT

By WKBW News


First Niagara's Day of Mentoring Yields Fresh Ideas

September 27, 2013 Updated May 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Third and fourth grade students from Enterprise Charter School offered some creative ideas for the “best new businesses to start in Buffalo” when they met with top First Niagara executives and employee mentors at First Niagara corporate headquarters Friday.

Some of the neatest business ideas included a “Larkin Lawn” – a place that sells grass seeds, flowers and dirt and a “Larkin Hotel” – where people can sleep near their place of work and relax in their hotel suites complete with jacuzzis. Some of the other ideas included:

• A nursery to take kids to be watched so they don’t have to get dropped off at their grandma’s house

• Combined SPCA/Vet/Café: If you help the SPCA you get a free gift card to the cafe

• A daycare center with a gym for kids, like a kids center, and has a trampoline

• A place where counselors can talk to kids about their problems and their families

• Donate for Life: A place to donate blood in Larkin

• A mini hospital in the Larkin Building where people can go to get help for asthma attacks

“Some of our greatest creativity comes from our young people,” said Buford Sears, First Niagara Bank Western New York Market Leader. “And the best way to promote that creativity is through proper mentoring.”

As part of First Niagara’s third annual Day of Mentoring, the students also learned financial and banking literacy, gained insights on how to be successful in the workforce, and received hands-on experience that they can apply in their future careers.

Day of Mentoring is an extension of First Niagara’s Mentoring MattersSM program, which provides critical funding and volunteer support for mentoring efforts in Western New York and throughout Upstate New York. To date, Mentoring Matters has donated $2 million to more than 175 organized mentoring programs and has positively impacted more than 15,000 youth.

“We’re proud to play an active role in the development of Buffalo’s youth,” said Sears. “Mentoring is a proven critical element in the professional, academic, social, emotional, and cognitive growth of our community’s future leaders.”

National studies have found that mentoring helps improve children’s school attendance records, attitudes about school, and expectations to attend college. It’s also been found to be effective in advancing young adults’ setting of career goals and ability to relate well to others as well as elevating their communication skills and self-esteem — according to a 2010 survey conducted by First Niagara of past Mentoring Matters grant recipients responsible for mentoring programs within their non-profit organizations.