Bank of America Names Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. and Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc. 2020 Neighborhood Builders®

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Program Provides $400,000 in Flexible Funding and Leadership Skills Development Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Palm Beach County

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. and Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc. have been named as the 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for Palm Beach County. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the Palm Beach community addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically, in helping close achievement gaps in learning, creating positive, measurable change for students, and preventing homelessness for hard-working, low-income families.

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Since 2004, Bank of America has invested over $260 million in 50 communities through Neighborhood Builders®, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and helping more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. 

 “Nonprofits are the backbone of our community, and now more than ever they need our support to ensure that those they serve have the tools and resources to meet their evolving needs,” said Fabiola Brumley, Palm Beach County market president, Bank of America. “The Neighborhood Builders® program is just one example of how we give communities the power to build cross-sector partnerships, advance economic and social progress in a responsible way."

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County partners closely with the School District of Palm Beach County and the greater business and charitable community to fund programs that close achievement gaps in learning and create positive, measurable change for students, thus placing some of the county's most economically challenged students at a more equitable place along their educational journey. The organization will use the Bank of America funds to expand its signature program, Red Apple Supplies, by launching Red Apple Supplies Online and On the Move. The store will provide access to supplies for teachers who are economically strapped and are not able to travel to their supplies store. The Education Foundation has selected Jennifer Ethridge, director of program and grants, as its emerging leader. Joining Jennifer will be President and CEO James S. Gavrilos.

"The operative term here is ‘impact.’  Bank of America is a company in whose DNA is imbedded a desire to make an impact in the local community.  When you combine that with a person like Jennifer Ethridge, whose every waking thought is devoted to changing more young lives in Palm Beach County, the combination is incredible,” said James S. Gavrilos, president and CEO of The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. “I could not be prouder of this partnership with Bank of America.  There is no task more essential than the education of our youth, and public education has no greater advocate than Bank of America and its employees.  And public education has no greater warrior than Ms. Ethridge.  This year's Neighborhood Builder Grant coupled with the leadership training is going to have an impact on education in Palm Beach County for years to come."

Adopt-A-Family is Palm Beach County's leading service provider for families with children. Over the years they have helped more than 50,000 households experiencing homelessness and living through multiple barriers. The organization helps prevent homelessness for hard-working, low-income families who earn too much to qualify for most assistance programs but not enough to be able to weather an unexpected financial crisis caused by illness, job loss, or other emergencies. Adopt-A-Family will utilize the funds to support various programs, including the agency's new Third Avenue Homes community development initiative. Third Avenue Homes provides 14 new units of affordable housing adjacent to the agency's headquarters in Lake Worth's Tropical Ridge neighborhood, reclaiming land once occupied by blighted and decaying structures. The organization has selected Layren Calvo, director of agency relations, as its emerging leader.

“It is a tremendous honor for Adopt-A-Family to be recognized as a 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder recipient. Bank of America is a true partner and ally to the nonprofit community in Palm Beach County,” said Matthew Constantine, chief executive officer of Adopt-A-Family. “This award will allow us to continue our efforts in providing one of the most fundamental and basic needs – stable housing.”      

The Neighborhood Builders® program is an opportunity to provide relevant skills development and topics to help nonprofit leaders address current and future community challenges. Each year, Bank of America refines the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program to include topics ranging from strategic storytelling to human capital management, and highlights themes that are critical to moving the nonprofit sector forward within broader societal and economic context.

Since 2005, through its Neighborhood Builders® program, Bank of America has partnered with 24 nonprofits in Palm Beach County, investing $5 million to provide economic mobility opportunities focused around critical needs, affordable housing, workforce development and community development within the Palm Beach County area. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community] participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. Neighborhood Builders® is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

Recent Bank of America announcements focused on advancing economic mobility include:

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