45-City Neighborhood Excellence Initiative® Strengthens Local Economies, Invests in Leadership, Supports Job Training
Seattle – As part of an ongoing effort to stimulate economic vitality in Puget Sound and in communities across the nation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced $450,000 in flexible funding and leadership training to local Puget Sound area nonprofits through its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, bringing the bank’s total commitment in the region through the program to $3.15 million since 2004.
The initiative continues to help hundreds of the nation’s most impactful nonprofits improve their long-term viability and bolster leadership strength, retain and hire new staff, and extend the depth and reach of their services – capabilities that are integral to community revitalization and critical in the current economy when nonprofit funding is down and demand for services is up.
Seattle Jobs Initiative, an employment and job skills training provider in King County, and YouthCare, an agency that provides a range of support services to homeless youth in the greater Seattle area, have been named 2010 Puget Sound Neighborhood Builders®, the nonprofit category of the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. Each organization will receive $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding and participate in Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program® with other nonprofit leaders from 44 communities across the country and London.
“Through our Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, we are helping to generate meaningful and cumulative economic and social impact at the local level where it’s needed most,” said Bob Peters, Washington State President, Bank of America. “In Puget Sound and across the country, we are leveraging the combined strength of our philanthropy, lending and investing initiatives to help set opportunity in motion for organizations, families, individuals and entire neighborhoods.”
The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative honors two other categories of community leaders: Local Heroes and Student Leaders®.
Local Heroes contribute significantly to the health of their neighborhood through volunteer service and civic engagement. With this recognition, they will direct a $5,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice. 2010 Puget Sound Local Heroes are:
· Jane Hunter, of Seattle, will direct their grant to North Helpline Food Bank.
· Kimberly Meno, of Arlington, will direct their grant to Kids Kloset.
· Edith Owen, of Tacoma, will direct their grant to Pierce County Relatives Raising Children Program.
· Marilyn Smith, of Seattle, will direct their grant to Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services.
· Larry Warner, of Everett, will direct their grant to Cocoon House.
Student Leaders, who are exemplary teens with a passion for improving their communities, participated in paid, eight-week internships at Puget Sound area nonprofits this summer (at the height of the teen unemployment rate) and gathered in Washington, D.C. for a weeklong summit to learn how service creates positive change in communities and to gain tools and resources to help them continue to make a difference in their local communities. 2010 Puget Sound Student Leaders are:
· Alice Zhang, of Bellevue and a recent graduate of Newport High School, interned at Hopelink.
· Connie Li, of Seattle and a recent graduate of University Prep, interned at Seattle Goodwill.
· Mandy Kwan, of Seattle and a senior at Garfield High School, interned at Atlantic Street Center.
· Mina Saudagaran, of Tacoma and a senior at Annie Wright School, interned at Tacoma Goodwill.
· Courtney Moore, of Seattle and a senior of Chief Sealth High School, interned at YWCA of Seattle King County.