November 17, 2021 - Programs that help individuals in our region overcome barriers to achieving economic sustainability will be able to scale, helping even more people through a multi-year grant from Bank of America. Goodwill  Southeast Georgia has been named as the 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work in the Savannah community addressing these issues. 

As part of the program, Goodwill Southeast Georgia will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement 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 are still experiencing significant demands and are in need of resources to help provide job skills training,” said Patrick O’Neil, president, Bank of America Savannah. “Goodwill Southeast Georgia helps bridge important gaps for individuals and families to help them chart a path toward economic opportunity and stability. Support and programs like Neighborhood Champions help these organizations grow sustainably and strategically for greater positive impact in the community.”

Goodwill’s Opportunity Centers provide training and development to prepare individuals to attain middle wage jobs, while also providing individual support to overcome barriers to achievement. These services include one-on-one coaching, transportation assistance, digital skills training, and assistance obtaining appropriate credentials and certifications for high demand careers. Bank of America funding will support an expansion of services through RISE (Resources for Intensive Services for Employment), which will focus on providing intensive support and case management to underserved populations in our community.

“Helping others achieve self-sufficiency is a great joy,” said Veronica Styron, director career development services, Goodwill Southeast Georgia. “With the help of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Champion program, our Opportunity Centers can deepen our impact across Southeast Georgia. Through the program, our team will extend our reach to assist individuals with developing crucial employability skills, arm them with financial literacy knowledge and prepare them for economic success as they achieve their goals.” 

Alongside Savannah, 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 in 126 organizations within 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program.

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