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Helping Students Find Sustainable Solutions

In 2023, Forbright Bank and the Black Student Fund hosted the first-ever Sustainable Solutions Summit, a week-long event where local Greater Washington high school students collaborated with leading sustainability experts to create a business plan to help solve local environmental issues.

Led by event organizers from Forbright Bank, the Black Student Fund and One Montgomery Green, 15 student competitors converged on a Marriott hotel in Chevy Chase, MD. Over the course of five days, they learned from experts in one of three subject areas: clean water, sustainable transportation or waste diversion. Forbright interns helped students hone their concepts.

Rising grade 10 students Kenyon Suggs, Robbie Henning and Fimiyo Bejide crafted the winning business pitch, impressing the expert judges: A solar-powered battery designed to sit on the roof of an electric vehicle. They walked away with $500 each in scholarship money. The runners-up, five students who pitched an app designed to offer personalized suggestions and incentives to use public transit, received $250 each.

“I don’t really know what I want to do in life, but I know that I want to do something maybe in business,” Bejide said. “I want to figure out a way I can help my community and the environment by learning business skills.”

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