On February 14, 2017, Bank of America was awarded the Corporate Service Award by Voices for National Service at the 14th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes their investment in the civic health of our nation through support of national service. We were proud to celebrate alongside Kerry Sullivan, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and her team - and honored to call them a partner.
Since 2010, Bank of America has partnered with Citizen Schools to provide 280 volunteers, who have served over 2,200 students - through a combined 11,100 hours. During their service, many of these volunteers teach the Bank’s signature “Your Financial Future” curriculum which was written in collaboration with Citizen Schools. Volunteers use these lessons and their time with students to teach them the basic financial literacy skills needed to achieve healthy financial futures and economic mobility.
As President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation since 2009, Kerry Sullivan holds a strong commitment to workforce development and has worked to extend support of Citizen Schools - beyond our middle school students - to include our AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows. Working with Citizen Schools, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation created a workforce development program to support our AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows in planning for their financial and professional futures. Through mock interview sessions and Better Money Habits seminars, Bank of America is helping our AmeriCorps members gain business and financial skills.
Alfred Reed, an Innovation Director for Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, teaches the Brand You apprenticeship at Martin Luther King Jr, Middle School, and he recently led a mock interview session for Teaching Fellows. He uses his volunteer recruitment work and his personal network to assemble a group of business professionals ready to advise and help develop future job seekers. Alfred’s goal for the interview sessions is to teach each Fellow how to sell themselves, and how to do it consistently in different contexts, even if it’s not quite the job they’re looking for. “To me, interview coaching is like teaching the Brand You apprenticeship,” he says, “I’m always looking for that ‘aha’ moment, when the light goes off and that person is thinking, “That’s how to be successful at this, that’s how to sell it.”
For our Teaching Fellows, the opportunity to speak with business professionals and practice their networking skills is invaluable. “Having a mock interview was extremely helpful for figuring out what questions I may get in the future and it helped me narrow down my answers. I appreciated having another professional to talk to.” All Teaching Fellows surveyed after the mock interview session not only said they would attend the event again; but also that they would recommend it to a friend or coworker. Being exposed to the kinds of challenges young job applicants face is helpful preparation for the future, and while the Teaching Fellows may or may not apply for jobs in the financial sector - interview skills are valuable to everyone.
Whether teaching middle school students how to plan for their financial future or helping AmeriCorps members manage their finances in the present, Bank of America is providing essential training and guidance through their partnership with Citizen Schools. We’re excited to continue working with Kerry Sullivan and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and extend our deepest congratulations on their recognition by Voices for National Service!