News & Events

New Fifth Third scholarship program benefits at-risk students of Cincinnati Arts & Technology Studios

Published: September 26, 2018

First-year scholarships to be awarded during OTR International Film Festival; area businesses invited to participate in program

Cincinnati, September 26, 2018 — “I want to make something of my life. I want to go to college, which my parents didn’t get to do,” says Rose Thompson. “Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be going to college.”

Rose is one of four students of the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Studios (CATS) who will receive college scholarships from Fifth Third Bank and the Fifth Third Foundation, in a Saturday, September 29 ceremony at the Erich Kunzel Center for Creative and Performing Arts, during the Over the Rhine International Film Festival (formerly known as “ReelAbility.”) This is the first year of a four-year, $40,000 commitment by Fifth Third Foundation, with $10,000 per year in scholarship assistance, to be divided among four deserving CATS students each of the four years. The new scholarship program, created specifically for CATS students, is part of a comprehensive series of Fifth Third investments that focus on supporting the arts, inclusion and diversity in the Greater Cincinnati Community.

“We chose to invest in CATS students after looking at the remarkable results of this art-based program that serves mostly at-risk high school students,” said Mary McFarland, Fifth Third vice president of inclusion and diversity. “We are encouraging other businesses in our region to take a look at the positive results CATS has been achieving in reducing the cycle of poverty in our community for 15 years, and to join Fifth Third by helping us expand this scholarship initiative,” said McFarland.

CATS results have included an average 93% high school graduation rate for its high school seniors, about half of whom move on to college or career, many with help from the CATS workforce development program, Bridging the Gap, and with CATS program supports continuing when they enter college, the workforce or both.

“At CATS we are mostly focused every day on determining what we can do to unlock the potential of every child who elects to come to our studios and take advantage of our programs,” said CATS CEO Clara Martin. “It is an honor to gain Fifth Third’s recognition of our achievements and support for our students’ continued success.”

The CATS students receiving the 2018 scholarships are Leslie Cason, Aiken New Technology graduate who will attend University of Cincinnati Blue Ash as an early childhood education major; Fatoumata Diagouraga, Withrow High School graduate who will attend UC Blue Ash majoring in health professions and pre-nursing; Rose Thompson, Virtual High School graduate who will attend Cincinnati State as an education major; David Unthank, Carpe Diem Preparatory Academy graduate who will attend University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Arts and Planning (DAAP) as a fine arts major. Photos and more details about the students are available here.

As part of its sponsorship of the OTR film festival, Fifth Third also is presenting an inaugural Community Arts Show featuring the work of Brian Washington, a Cincinnati artist whose award-winning Continual Struggle series of paintings documents the Civil Rights movement and society’s ongoing struggle against segregation. For more details.

Businesses interested in learning more about how to join Fifth Third in helping CATS graduating students achieve success after high school may contact Mary McFarland, Fifth Third VP of inclusion and diversity, or Kasey Trbovich, CATS director of development (contact info below release).

About The Fifth Third Foundation
Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first philanthropic foundation established by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthwhile organizations in the areas of education, health and human services, community development and the arts.

About Cincinnati Arts & Technology Studios
The Cincinnati Arts &Technology Studios (CATS), is a non-profit 510c3) agency that helps at-risk high school students stay in school, graduate, launch careers and successful lives. Most CATS students are Cincinnati Public Schools high school juniors, seniors and over-age underclassmen who lack sufficient credits to graduate. CATS, with studios at Longworth Hall in downtown Cincinnati, uses a combination of the transformative power of the arts, a first-class environment, and a character-building culture to unlock the self-worth and potential of at-risk teens. On average, 93% of CATS eligible seniors graduate and 50% apply to college. Dozens of students have started successful careers through Bridging the Gap, the CATS workforce development program established in its current form in 2010. CATS is patterned after the highly successful Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh and is a model for national replication of programs that use the arts to help teens succeed. For more information, to donate or sponsor a student, please visit our website or call us at (513) 562-5500.
For more information on Bridging the Gap, the CATS workforce development program.

About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of June 30, 2018, the Company had $141 billion in assets and operated 1,158 full-service Banking Centers and 2,458 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2018, had $368 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $37 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.
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Media contacts:
Danielle Jones, Fifth Third Bancorp

Gail Silver, Cincinnati Arts and Technology Studios       513.475.0002                                                        

Business contacts:
If you’re interested in learning how to join Fifth Third in the scholarship program:

Mary McFarland, Fifth Third Bank

Kasey Trbovich, Cincinnati Arts and Technology Studios