CBA and Ashoka Announce 2013 “Banking on Youth” Grand Prize WinnerBanks Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

Washington, D.C. (May 31, 2013) – The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) Foundation, and Ashoka’s Youth Venture are excited to announce the 2013 “Banking on Youth” Grand Prize winner and the Audience Choice Award recipient:

Grand Prize of $15,000: TGIF-Turn Grease Into Fuel, John Perino, RI
Project “Turn Grease Into Fuel” (TGIF) is a sustainable system designed to collect waste cooking oil and convert it into bio-fuel. This renewable fuel is distributed to local Rhode Island families in need of heating assistance.

Audience Choice Award of $5,000:, Simone Bernstein, MO, an online volunteer platform, addresses the challenge of limited volunteer opportunities for youth under the age of 18 due to safety, security, and liability issues. The program is supported by advertising revenue from sustainable and eco-friendly companies and organizations.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges as part of the Ashoka Future Forum held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, May 30, 2013.

“Banking on Youth,” now in its second year, invites young people throughout the country to share their ideas for entrepreneurial ventures that will directly benefit society. More than 200 proposals for social venture were received and of these, six national finalists were chosen:

Each finalist received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and the opportunity to meet with small business bankers and Congressional offices.

“The CBA Foundation is excited to award these outstanding young entrepreneurs with the funds they need to bring their ideas to life,” said Mark Rendulic, CBA Foundation Chair, Executive Vice President, Retail Banking, First Niagara Bank. “I am honored to participate in this program for the second year and extend my thanks to all the sponsors who made the competition possible. These banks are deeply committed to finding and investing in tomorrow’s leaders.”

"Not only are we thrilled with the successes of the 30 ventures we seeded through the competition and the phenomenal potential of our national winners, but we are also delighted with the overwhelming enthusiasm and support from our 12 participating banks," remarked Gretchen Zucker, Executive Director of Ashoka's Youth Venture. "We can't wait to get started with the next Banking on Youth."

Our 2013 sponsoring banks include:

  • U.S. Bank (Pitch-Off Sponsor),
  • PNC Bank (Hill & Silver Sponsor),
  • Bank of America (Gold Sponsor),
  • First Niagara Bank (Gold Sponsor),
  • Citibank (Silver+ Sponsor),
  • Union Bank (Silver+ Sponsor),
  • Wells Fargo (Silver+ Sponsor),
  • 1st Financial Bank (Silver Sponsor),
  • Citizens Bank (Silver Sponsor),
  • BB&T (Bronze Sponsor),
  • IBERIABANK (Bronze Sponsor), and
  • M&T Bank (Bronze Sponsor).

These banks selected 29 regional winners, each of which will receive $1,000 of seed-money for their venture. Learn more about all the regional winners and their ideas at

Editor’s Note: Photos are available upon request.

About CBA
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.

About Ashoka
Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and the pioneer of the social entrepreneurship movement. Ashoka has a 30-year history of finding and launching the top innovations that address the world’s needs. We believe that the greatest contribution we can make to the world is to increase dramatically the number of changemakers today and in every future generation. This is the key factor for success in every part of society, from a school to a company to an entire country. Ashoka operates in 65 countries and online at

About Ashoka’s Youth Venture
Youth Venture is an international network of 100,000 changemakers. We inspire and support young people to be changemakers by launching and leading their own civic-minded organizations and businesses, and we help communities around the world realize their potential as communities of changemakers. YV operates in 19 countries and online at

For more information, please contact Jeannie Bunton,, 202.552.6370, or visit