Investing in youth employment

Early employment can set a young person on a trajectory for success, providing them with both a paycheck and a stepping-stone for improving academic performance.

Building a network through work can be one of the best ways to start a career path and increase self-confidence. That’s why Bank of America has a long history of investing in youth employment, including our Financial Center Apprenticeship program, our Student Leaders® program, and partnerships with local nonprofits, mayors and sports teams.

Since 2010, Bank of America has funded 20,000 jobs for youth, helping them gain valuable workforce skills and stay focused on their futures. And we've invested $160 million since 2018 to connect youth and young adults to jobs and mentoring, including funding jobs with nonprofit partners and supporting skills-building and alternative pathways.

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What’s a win for the whole community?

Since 2010, Bank of America has funded 20,000 jobs for youth. Now we're teaming up with even more local organizations, including MLB and NFL teams, as well as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Bank of America Roval 400 and MENTOR, to equip underserved youth with vital job skills and workplace mentoring. It's all part of our long-standing commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.

 

Interested in helping a young person succeed in your community? Sign up here

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Connecting community-minded youth to internships

Every year, we help connect more than 300 high school juniors and seniors—also known as Student Leaders®—to service opportunities and skills training. They participate in an eight-week paid internship with local nonprofits like Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity.

They also get to see how nonprofits, governments and businesses collaborate to meet local needs by participating in the national Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

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An early jump on a healthy career

A partnership between Bakersfield College and the Kern County School District is connecting students with emerging opportunities in public health. High school students take courses at the community college for free and are connected to career pathways in public health through volunteering and internships. The program drastically reduces student debt for participants, many of whom are from low-income households, helping to alleviate some of the financial burden of traditional four-year degree.

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From internships to careers

Our Financial Center Apprenticeship program focuses on building technology expertise while also offering an opportunity to further develop business acumen and skills through mentoring by Bank of America teammates. Students like Dan Querrius in Dallas, TX, have served as Digital Ambassadors in financial centers across the country, bringing their own passion and know-how to the workplace. In addition to bringing home a paycheck, our apprenticeship participants gain a better understanding of personal finances through Better Money Habits®, our financial wellness and education platform.

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Pivoting summer youth employment programs in response to the coronavirus

2020 presented new challenges for connecting youth with job experience. So after more than a decade of partnering with mayors’ offices across the country to facilitate youth employment, we pivoted to making those connections virtually. In the process, we helped provide summer employment to approximately 4,000 at-risk youth from low- and moderate-income communities.

For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina, employer commitments to provide traditional onsite youth internship experiences were down 78%. This led to our partnership with the City of Charlotte Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP) to help create a virtual summer internship program. Working with local organizations and businesses, the MYEP’s program ensured students had everything they needed to succeed virtually, from access to Chromebooks to frequent check-ins and follow-up help.

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Raising a generation of problem solvers

Girls Who Code (GWC) is a nonprofit that is working to eliminate the gender gap in tech and change the image of what a programmer looks like. Through its Summer Immersion Program — hosted by Bank of America and other partners in cities across the U.S. each year — GWC gives high school girls an opportunity to explore their passion for technology and learn new skills by connecting with professional women who serve as role models and living proof that a career in STEM is within their reach.