On May 1, my new payment processing company, Beyond, was launched. While Beyond is committed to providing its business customers with leading technology, transparent pricing and world-class service, it is also committed to its philanthropic beneficiary — Give Something Back, the nonprofit I founded to help students from low-income families successfully graduate from college in four years without any debt.
All my personal earnings from this new venture will go to Give Something Back, and Give Something Back will be the majority shareholder.
Since 2003, Give Something Back has donated more than $35 million in scholarship money to fund the college educations of 1,500 students at our partner colleges and universities across the country.
I’m also proud to note that 59 out of 60 students graduating high school this year in Give Back’s Illinois program have been accepted into four-year universities (the remaining student will be attending community college in the fall).
I love the concept of giving businesses a reason to give back to communities, especially in our current political climate. When you partner with Beyond to help your business succeed, you’re essentially helping these talented young people of modest means succeed in life.
For those of you contemplating becoming a Beyond customer, I’d like to share a letter from one of last year’s Give Back scholars. Several of these scholar letters come across my desk each year and they serve to remind me of the important work that Give Something Back does — and, with your support — can continue to do for years to come:
“My experience with Give Back has honestly been life changing. I have never been so honored and happy to receive this full scholarship.
“Receiving this (scholarship) has shown me I can be successful and my dreams to become a pediatrician are now realistic. This program has introduced me to amazing friends I would have never found or have gotten a chance to include in my life without the Give Back program. I have been able to connect with them through the Give Back events which are more than just fun. Everyone in the program is so kind and very caring, it is hard not to make friends. What helps is that we are all in the same grade and all connected by this program which makes everything more amazing.
“I had been worried about college, and even as a freshman in high school, it had stressed me out that I had so many unanswered questions about it. Especially since I had no one to console me or give me advice since my parents couldn’t afford or attend college. However, now my experience will be different. For one, I have the opportunity to major in my chosen course of study now that I am financially able. Two, I have so many people and friends to do it alongside with. I am no longer alone and my fears might be shared among my peers, which helps since we can do it together and answer each other’s questions, and in general increase the range of people to ask when I need help with concern to college. Thank you!”
At Beyond, we believe that we succeed when our customers succeed and when our communities succeed. By investing in the minds and futures of smart, capable young people, we are building a well-prepared workforce and contributing to a thriving economy – which creates greater opportunities for our customers and for our company.
I look forward to working with you.