Last night the national Young Agents Committee raised $50,825 for insurance student scholarships during its casino-themed fundraiser at the Big “I” Legislative Conference.
Proceeds from the event, which also included a silent auction, benefit the scholarship fund for InVEST®, the Big “I” nonprofit dedicated to improving insurance literacy of students and attracting new talent to the industry. Scholarships are awarded to InVEST graduates planning to pursue insurance careers or studies.
A conference attendee places a bet while playing roulette at YAC Gives Back. Photo: Victoria Goff
The event, YAC Gives Back: A Benefit for InVEST Scholarships, drew hundreds of agents, brokers, company partners and industry professionals, who played cards and roulette, and bid on close to 90 auction items, ranging from vacation packages to “Downton Abbey” memorabilia.
"I think YAC and InVEST have this universal appeal to our industry because [they're] the pipeline to our industry,” said Juan Padron of SafeGuard Insurance in McAllen, Texas, a participant at last night’s festivities. “We need more insurance professionals, and we need programs that do it for us. YAC in particular brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to the industry you don't often see.”
Padron, chair of the national Big “I” Diversity Task Force, added: “It's part of the glue that brings the entire group together."
A conference attendee bids on an auction item at the event, which benefits the InVEST scholarship fund.
Photo: Victoria Goff
YAC Gives Back also provided conference attendees with an excellent networking opportunity, in addition to a fun evening.
"I love the enthusiasm of all the young people here," said Steve Zogby, executive vice president at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig Insurance in New Hartford, N.Y. "I think this business has a lot to offer for young people, and this is the type of thing where they can learn from each other and learn from people who have more experience as well.”
“Sometimes just standing around talking you get a lot of great ideas,” added Zogby, who was a first-time participant to YAC Gives Back last night. “We need to keep young people involved in our business and we've done well with that. So this [event] is a great thing to help perpetuate that."
In addition to silent auction bids, scholarship money was also raised through direct donations and sponsorships. InVEST plans to award more than $80,000 in scholarships this year.
Program students and graduates can submit scholarship applications by April 26, Winners will be announced at the end of May.