Igniting innovation: How business leaders can help

Igniting innovation: How business leaders can help

By Nick Lambrow, Delaware Regional President, M&T Bank

Much is expected of our teachers in 2015. Schools have changed from the simple brick buildings many of us knew as kids.  Teachers are encouraged to challenge and develop students’ abilities, build creativity, and develop independent, lifelong learners, all while ensuring STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a significant priority.

Primary and secondary education might not sound like a topic high on the list of priorities for a banker; however, I see the economic prosperity of our state closely tied to the success of the classroom in the 380 schools across Delaware. The 11,000 teachers who nurture and develop skills are creating this all-important next generation of innovators, business leaders, and customers. Help from volunteers is often welcome, and business people can and should lead the way.

Community businesses and volunteers can be instrumental in introducing young people to our economic system, how to run a business, calculated risk-taking, financial literacy, and much more, through organizations like the Delaware Adolescent Program (DAPI), and Junior Achievement (JA), both of which M&T Bank is proud to support.

DAPI offers academic instruction, health care and more to pregnant students and families so they may continue their education and consider healthy decisions for their future. JA, offers a robust menu of 21st Century K-12 learning experiences and the afterschool JA Company Program, where students actually create and run their own company under the guidance of experienced business professionals.

In banking, we’re continually looking for ways to bring about opportunity through business innovation. However, those lessons need to be learned early. Our teachers are doing great things but business leaders are often the crystallizing link in engaging students by sharing real world experience and igniting curiosity that leads to the great innovations of tomorrow.