Bank of America Charitable Foundation announces $50 million 3-year pledge to education as a path to workforce success

Jul 18, 2011

Immediately donates $4.5 million to innovative educational programs serving low-income communities

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced a goal to invest $50 million over the next three years toward education initiatives leading to economic self-sufficiency through employment. The funds will support programs that bridge the achievement gap to post-secondary education completion and connect the underserved and unemployed, as well as returning veterans and individuals with disabilities to workforce success in high-growth sectors.

This investment, to be announced as part of the White House convening on education this afternoon, addresses a critical need by helping prepare middle and high school students for the transition to higher education for workforce success, in particular through community colleges. Education is part of Bank of America’s comprehensive lending, investing and volunteer activities aimed at strengthening the economic and social health of communities by recognizing the need for knowledgeable and skilled workers to compete in the global economy.

“We are at a crossroads in the United States where the educational crisis has put the nation’s growth and prosperity at risk and we are committed to being part of the solution,” said Anne Finucane, global strategy and marketing officer and chair of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Providing opportunities to increase the educational and developmental outcomes of individuals leads to financial independence and personal growth, which in turn, increases a community’s economic vitality.”

As part of its funding goal, the foundation announced an initial $4.5 million to the following nonprofit organizations serving as a catalyst for innovative education opportunities serving low-income communities:

  • Achieving the Dream: $500,000 to help establish a learning community complete with asset-building tools and resources disseminated across the entire national Achieving the Dream network. In addition, the grant will help community colleges build capacity to leverage volunteerism as a resource to help students achieve success.
  • Boston College – Lynch School of Education: $1 million to support 30 Bank of America Leaders in Urban Education in the Masters of Ed Program. Graduates will be required to teach in an urban school that serves economically disadvantaged children. The awards will be treated as forgivable loans, with forgiveness to be “earned” by graduation and by teaching service rendered in an urban school.
  • Citizen Schools: $1 million to improve the academic performance and high-school readiness of low-income, middle school students by expanding the learning day and providing rigorous academic support, leadership development, and hands-on learning projects led by volunteer “citizen teachers” and trained staff during the afternoon hours. In addition, Bank of America will roll out a Financial Education Business Entrepreneur Apprenticeship in the fall.
  • City Year: $1 million to fund middle school programs that support City Year’s Whole School, Whole Child strategy in high-needs schools nationwide. These programs incorporate service as a key component to work directly in the highest needs school throughout the school day and help address the nation’s dropout crisis and the key early warning signs that show a student is falling off track. Through its employee volunteers, Bank of America is incorporating financial education by training the City Year Corps members to provide financial education to middle school students.
  • GreenLight Fund: $1 million to introduce new, high impact approaches into communities and invest in organizations that are bringing innovative ideas to the table. Bank of America’s grant will support the expansion of these kinds of proven education/youth development programs into Philadelphia and the Bay Area in California, based on the GreenLight Fund’s work in Boston, which is currently benefiting more than 12,000 children, youth and families.


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