The Neighborhood Builders podcast — 15 years and counting

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders® Signature Program is one of the nation’s largest philanthropic investments in nonprofit leadership development, strengthening the network of nonprofit leaders that are critical to helping our communities thrive.

To mark the fifteenth year of the program, we’re profiling Builders and their stories. For this podcast series, Bank of America’s Alicia Burke spoke with nonprofit leaders and the people their organizations serve to learn about the work they do, how they’re positively changing their communities and what Neighborhood Builders means to them.

Since 2004, Bank of America's Neighborhood Builders program has helped advance sustainable communities by investing more than $220 million in 49 communities — partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders and counting. The program is an example of how we deploy capital and build cross-sector partnerships to advance economic and social progress as part of our approach to responsible growth.

Listen to the stories of our Neighborhood Builders below:

Year Up in Chicago, Illinois
Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, California
Juma Ventures in Seattle, Washington
Urban Alliance in Washington, D.C.

Year Up — Chicago, IL

Year Up Chicago’s mission is to close the opportunity gap by providing professional development training and internships for underserved youth. After receiving the Neighborhood Builders award in 2015, Year Up was able to grow its own professional network, expand its knowledge base and sustain critical services in the Chicago community. In this conversation, Bank of America’s Alicia Burke, Year Up Executive Director Jack Crowe and Year Up alumnus Edgar Rosales discuss how mentoring an untapped workforce is giving young adults the power to reach their professional potential.

Downtown Women’s Center – Los Angeles, CA

For the past 40 years, Downtown Women’s Center has served as the only LA-based organization focused exclusively on supporting and empowering women who are experiencing homelessness. Through affordable housing and development programs, the organization helps women gain economic and professional stability. Being designated as a Neighborhood Builders award recipient in 2007 gave the Downtown Women’s Center the power to triple community outreach and plan for the long term by purchasing another building and hiring additional employees. In this conversation, the bank’s Alicia Burke, Downtown Women’s Center CEO Lisa Watson, and a resident turned current employee of the Downtown Women’s Center, Vikki Vickers, discuss helping women rebuild their lives, and the power of a fresh start and a second chance.

Juma Ventures – Seattle, WA

Juma Seattle strives to break the cycle of poverty by providing youth with job opportunities, educational support and training programs through partnerships with major sporting venues and stadiums. In 2017, Juma Ventures was recognized as a Neighborhood Builders award recipient, giving the organization the power to create more opportunities for program participants, expand recruitment programs and reach more youth. In the final installment of the Neighborhood Builders podcast series, the bank’s Alicia Burke, Juma Executive Director Mason Moore, and Juma alum Xavier Wade discuss how a job opportunity can teach life lessons and kickstart careers.

Urban Alliance – Washington, D.C.

Urban Alliance, a 2013 Neighborhood Builders award recipient, provides internships and professional opportunities to economically disadvantaged high schoolers in five cities throughout the U.S. In this conversation, the bank’s Alicia Burke, Urban Alliance CEO Eshauna Smith, and Urban Alliance alum James West discuss how paid internships, formal training and mentoring give under-resourced youth the power to aspire, and to work toward and reach their professional goals. Eshauna also reflects on how the Neighborhood Builders program provided a community of other nonprofit leaders as she made the transition to CEO of the organization.