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Native Kansas family announces gift to Youth Entrepreneurs in Topeka

Topeka, Kan. – Students at four local high schools will soon have even more growth and leadership opportunities, thanks to a generous $50,000 donation to Youth Entrepreneurs from the McCarthy family announced today. 

Philanthropist Kent McCarthy’s father Charles grew up in Topeka, attended Topeka High School and instilled in his son the same family and community values that enable all young people, businesses and communities to thrive. In addition to supporting the YE program at Charles’ alma mater, the endowment will also fund existing programs at Hope Street Academy, Highland Park and Topeka West high schools. Fueled by a strong belief in the potential of every student, McCarthy credits the Kochs—another native Kansas family—for their commitment to unlocking everyone’s potential to transform society for the better. 

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my dad and his guidance. I owe a lot of my success to the way he and my mom raised me,” McCarthy said. “I’ve seen the power of innovation and entrepreneurialism at work. It can drastically transform society for the better. That’s why YE is so incredible – students now have the chance to change their community and the world with the values and skills they’re learning. I am committed to this program because I see so much potential in every student.” 

The McCarthy family – Kent and his wife Missy, their children and Kent’s father, Charles – had the opportunity to tour Topeka High School this past spring, observe a Youth Entrepreneurs class, and meet with a few YE students to learn about their experience in the program. Starting with this school year, the Charles & Marie McCarthy Award will be given annually to one outstanding YE student at Topeka High School, to be selected by Jeremiah Adair, YE relationship manager for Topeka, and Murray Moore, a YE educator at THS. 

“I get to help students realize that YE is not just a class,” Moore said. “YE is a chance for students to connect with resources and increase their value in the marketplace.” 

The latest gift will also allow five area YE students annually to participate in advanced learning tours or leadership development training. 

“We are grateful to the McCarthy family for its dedication to YE’s mission to inspire students to overcome barriers and seize opportunities,” said Youth Entrepreneurs President Kylie Stupka. “This donation will make a difference in so many young lives in Topeka and beyond.”