YMCA of Central Florida Receives $25K Grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation to Expand a Local Youth Workforce and Higher Education Development Program

Expansion of the Y youth program will expose more at-risk youth to future career opportunities through mentorship, site visits and other collaborations with national corporations and local businesses ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida Teen Achievers, a program focused on inspiring teens from low-income communities to pursue post-secondary degrees and certifications, has received a $25,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to help prepare youth for higher education and future employment opportunities. “We truly appreciate the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for their donation to the YMCA Teen Achievers program,” said Mina Ford, Y Teen Achievers Executive Director. “With their support, we will not only be able to reach more Central Florida students, many of whom will be first-generation college students, but we will also be able to expose them to career opportunities in the banking industry and highlight the importance of financial literacy.” The award, which is part of Bank of America’s Workforce Development and Education initiative, is one of 11 grants issued this year to Central Florida nonprofits to help connect the unemployed, underemployed, homeless, youth and individuals with disabilities to training and employment opportunities. Launched in 1999, the YMCA Teen Achievers Program is a college preparatory and career awareness program, designed to increase college enrollment among disadvantaged youth. It pairs minority high school youth with successful adult achievers who, through volunteer service, serve as mentors and role models providing educational, cultural and career guidance. The program also offers mentoring and tutoring sessions on weekday afternoons with adult volunteer leaders—including Bank of America employees—to explore and learn about various career fields and opportunities. Since its inception, the Teen Achievers program has helped more than 11,650 students to successfully graduate high school. Nearly 90 percent of those graduating students went on to pursue higher education opportunities at colleges and universities nation-wide. The program is currently available at eight high schools, including Central Florida Leadership Academy, Jones High School, Cypress Creek High School, Evans High School, West Orange High School, Workforce Academy, Gateway High School and Seminole High School. Bank of America’s Central Florida Market President, Steven Alch, will present the award at the annual Teen Achievers Excellence Luncheon scheduled Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Noon at the Tangelo Park YMCA. About the YMCA of Central Florida The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.   Bank of America To learn more about Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility efforts, visit www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow @BofA_Community.