Courtesy of Matthew Daily

Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County (BGCSLC) has been named the Treasure Coast’s 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work to create economic and social progress in underserved communities.

BGCSLC is receiving $50,000 in grant support to expand its ‘Into the Future’ program providing teens with soft skills training, job exploration tours, apprenticeships, and other workforce readiness initiatives. This funding will help hire additional staff and contribute to the creation of the Club’s new Fort Pierce Workforce Readiness Resource Center, which is planned to be the epicenter of the organization’s year-round workforce readiness activities.

As Neighborhood Champion, BGCSLC will also participate in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

‘As communities continue to recover and navigate a changing landscape, nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie are helping ensure all residents can move forward from the pandemic

by creating economic opportunities vital to low-and-moderate income neighborhoods,’ said Doug Sherman, president, Bank of America Treasure Coast. ‘Bank of America is investing in the region’s future by working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie to bridge important gaps for the next generation and charting a path toward racial equality and inclusion in the communities we serve. Programs like Neighborhood Champions help these organizations grow sustainably and strategically for a greater positive impact in the Treasure Coast.’

The Club’s ‘Into the Future’ initiative also strives to help resolve the recent labor shortages many businesses are experiencing as they quickly scale their operations back to pre-pandemic levels. The skills and experiences participants gain from the program will help them enter and succeed in jobs critical to many of the Treasure Cost’s key industries.

‘We are very thankful for this generous donation from Bank of America. This will have an immediate impact on our teens as we prepare them with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful in the next chapter in their lives,’ said Will Armstead, CEO of BGCSLC.

Alongside the Treasure Coast, the bank will bring the program to over 42 additional communities across the U.S. this fall as part of its commitment to investing in the long-term health of communities. The Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits who are poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee. The Neighborhood Champions program is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Since the program’s inception in 2019, Bank of America has invested $6.3 million