The Lee County Education Foundation announced Tuesday the formation and implementation of The Durable Skills Project. First Bank has committed to giving LCEF $50,000 to fund the newly announced initiative, which formed through a partnership with Lee County Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Central Carolina.

The Durable Skills Project will reach 120 students across the three Lee County middle schools. It begins this week at East Lee Middle School, SanLee Middle School, and West Lee Middle School, teaching lifelong usable skills for the real world.

The Durable Skills Project provides support to middle schoolers through mentors and programming geared toward improving life skills like effective verbal communication, self-control, and goal setting. Utilizing established, proven Boys & Girls Club curriculum with an added focus on communication, the Durable Skills Project will help students build a framework for long-term success. Trained Boys and Girls Club staff will be on the middle school campuses meeting in person with students and leading them through this innovative program.

“The Foundation is committed to enhancing success for students and so is First Bank,” said LCEF Chairman Susan Keller. “The newly formed Durable Skills Project provides positive mentorship and consistent development of skills like communication, leadership, and long-term goal setting. First Bank’s generous donation means these students will receive the guidance needed to develop traits and habits that lead to high achievement in high school, the workforce, and beyond.”

“The vision of the foundation is to help create an outstanding public-school system that graduates students well prepared for the 21st century workplace and ultimately success in life,” said Rob Patterson, First Bank’s community banking executive and LCEF board member. “With the Durable Skills Project we are driving right into the core of our vision and giving tangible and meaningful skills to our students. First Bank is thrilled to have a hand in that.”

The Lee County Education Foundation is a public/private partnership committed to empowering educators and moving futures forward. This includes improving the futures of our schools, students, and larger community. LCEF has awarded over $1 million in grants and awards to the ultimate end of improving education for all in Lee County and creating a workforce-ready population committed to personal, professional and community success.

The funds are donated as a part of First Bank’s Project Launch initiative, a year-long program that focuses on improving and driving education in the Carolinas. There are several facets to Project Launch, including direct donations to education-based organizations, monthly grant winners, the First Bank Book Club, and the “Out of this World Educator” awards. Through August 2022, a total of $375,369 of the committed $500,000 funds has been given away to various education initiatives under the Project Launch umbrella.