11/14/2019: Bank of America Provides Big Picture Philadelphia and Philadelphia Youth Network Funding and Leadership Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Philadelphia

$200,000 in funding and leadership resources are part of bank’s Neighborhood Builders® program, which strengthens nonprofit leadership to help communities thrive

Philadelphia – Big Picture Philadelphia and Philadelphia Youth Network have been named as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for Philadelphia. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the Philadelphia area to address issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically with education and workforce development through internships, and mentoring to establish higher graduation rates and career pathways for students.

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. 

“Big Picture Philadelphia and Philadelphia Youth Network play significant roles shaping workforce development in our city,” said Jim Dever, Philadelphia market president, Bank of America. “We’re proud to support two local nonprofits through our Neighborhood Builders program that are leading the charge to advance sustainable growth in the community and address systemic issues related to economic mobility.”

Big Picture Philadelphia (BPP) is a leader in the delivery of a student-centered, project-based educational design to reverse the trends of youth disconnecting or completely disengaging from school in Philadelphia. As an education provider, BPP’s approach to learning through internships, inquiry, collaboration, and mentoring establishes an educational practice that supports higher graduation rates and career pathways for students. BPP's strategic approach to learning is different from other schools. BPP prepares students for post-secondary education and real-world work in a way that is meaningful and takes their skills and interests into consideration.

Bank of America employees can mentor students, volunteer on Exhibition and Demo Days, where volunteers are asked to provide feedback to students at the end of their semester, or volunteer to conduct mock interviews with students preparing for internships.

“The grant from Bank of America will be used to grow our sustainable programming and available internship opportunities to help our students develop skills for 21st-century careers,” said David Bromley, executive director at Big Picture Philadelphia. “By providing solid education and internship opportunities to our students we will help unlock a cycle of poverty by increasing our students’ ability to access a job and receive higher earnings.”

Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) prepares young people to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce through programmatic and collaborative efforts in education and employment. These efforts fuel economic growth and equity, including paid work experiences that generate more than $6 million in youth wages for more than 10,000 youth annually and help youth gain the skills and competencies employers require.

Bank of America volunteers can provide financial education through PYN’s summer professional development series for interns. In addition, volunteers will be able to deliver financial services to young people through a partnership with Cities for Financial Empowerment's Summer Jobs Connect (SJC) and the Bank.

“We are honored to be the recipient of The Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant supporting our work to create more education and employment opportunities for Philadelphia's youth,” said Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, president and CEO at Philadelphia Youth Network. “This grant allows us to improve our processes, operate more efficiently and provide more transformational experiences for young people.”

Since 2005, through its Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America has partnered with 25 nonprofits in Philadelphia, investing $5 million to provide financial education and economic mobility opportunities within the Philadelphia area. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

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