The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced two Portland area nonprofits, Portland YouthBuilders and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc., as recipients of the prestigious Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI) Neighborhood Builder awards. Five community leaders and five local high school students were also recognized for making a difference in the Portland community. Neighborhood Builder winners receive $200,000 in unrestricted grants. Bank of America has committed more than $2.2 million in NEI awards in Portland.
"Bank of America has long held the belief that a healthy community is a healthy place to do business, and we are committed to creating real impact in the Portland community," said Roger Hinshaw, Oregon state president at Bank of America. "The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative underscores our belief that investing in leadership is a sound practice, whether building the capacity of our nonprofit organizations, developing current and emerging community leaders, or preparing our youth for the future."
NEI honors awardees in three categories: Neighborhood Builders™ – local nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant communities; Local Heroes™ – community leaders who contribute significantly to the health of our neighborhoods; and Student Leaders® – exemplary high school junior and seniors with a passion for improving our communities. Portland's 2008 NEI award recipients are as follows:
Neighborhood Builders – each receives $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding, and the executive director and an emerging leader from each organization participate in a leadership development program sponsored by Bank of America to enhance their strategic skills with other nonprofit leaders across the country and London.
· Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), based in Southeast Portland, offers education, vocational training, leadership development, and graduate support programs for low-income, at-risk young people from ages 17-24. The main goal of PYB students is to earn high school or general equivalency diplomas while acquiring the skills, values, and experience necessary to lead self-sufficient and productive lives. Portland YouthBuilders is part of a national organization providing support and education to America's youth.
· Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) is a community development organization providing affordable rental housing to low-income families in north and northeast Portland. PCRI's mission is to preserve, expand and manage affordable housing in the City of Portland and provide access to and advocacy for its residents.
Local Heroes – each directs a $5,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.
· Trevor Calton of Portland will donate his funds to New Avenues for Youth.
· Jill Ginsberg, MD of Portland will donate her funds to the North by Northeast Community Health Center.
· Cheryl Neal, MD of Portland will donate her funds to the MIKE (Multicultural Kidney Education) program.
· Tommy Owens of Vancouver will donate his funds to the Children's Center in Vancouver.
· June Terry of Portland will donate her funds to Metropolitan Family Service.
Student Leaders – each participated in a paid, eight-week internship with Habitat for Humanity and in a weeklong leadership summit in Washington, D.C. designed to increase their understanding of how nonprofits, businesses and government partner to create positive change, and to encourage them as future leaders.
· Samiha Rahman, of Portland, attended Sunset High School
· Nawwal Moustafa, of Durham, attended Beaverton High School
· Marcel Million, of Portland, attended Renaissance Arts Academy
· Joe Volpert, of Portland, attends Grant High School
· Abby Maichi Tran, of Troutdale, attends Reynolds High School
Bank of America is one of the few corporations in the U.S. that provides unrestricted grant funding to nonprofit organizations. This practice is based on Bank of America's belief that corporate philanthropy works best when it sustains community efforts that are based on partnership, leadership development and flexible funding.
Including this year's awardees, Bank of America's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative has recognized, nurtured and rewarded more than 400 organizations and over 2,000 individuals. In 2008, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will commit $20 million globally to the initiative, which operates in 45 of the bank's major markets, bringing the total commitment under the program to more than $90 million by the end of this year.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America will embark in 2009 on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.