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By The Skanner News
Published: 25 November 2008

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation this week announced two Portland area nonprofits, Portland YouthBuilders and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc., as recipients of the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative  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.
NEI honors awardees in three categories: Neighborhood Builders are local nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant communities; Local Heroes are community leaders who contribute significantly to the health of our neighborhoods; and Student Leaders are exemplary high school junior and seniors with a passion for improving our communities.
The Neighborhood Builders each receive $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding, and the executive director and an emerging leader from each organization participate in a leadership development program to enhance their strategic skills with other nonprofit leaders across the country and in London, England.
Portland YouthBuilders, based in Southeast Portland, offer 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.
The Local Heroes grant directs a $5,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.
Winners are: Trevor Calton of Portland, who will donate his funds to New Avenues for Youth; Dr. Jill Ginsberg of Portland, who will donate her funds to the North by Northeast Community Health Center; Dr. Cheryl Neal of Portland, who will donate her funds to the MIKE (Multicultural Kidney Education) program; Tommy Owens of Vancouver, who will donate his funds to the Children's Center in Vancouver; June Terry of Portland, who will donate her funds to Metropolitan Family Service.
For the Student Leaders grant, each participant went on 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.
Winners are: Samiha Rahman, of Sunset High School; Nawwal Moustafa, of Beaverton High School; Marcel Million, of Renaissance Arts Academy; Joe Volpert, of Grant High School; and     Abby Maichi Tran, of Reynolds High School.
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.

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