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June 3, 2021

YouthBuild USA Recognized as a National Neighborhood Builder; Received $200K Grant from Bank of America

The award celebrates the global nonprofit’s work on behalf of opportunity youth as they build the skillsets and mindsets for a brighter future

ROXBURY, MA, June 3, 2021 — Bank of America has recognized YouthBuild USA as a national Neighborhood Builder and awarded a $200,000 grant in recognition of the nonprofit’s leadership in bolstering economic mobility for opportunity youth across the nation. In YouthBuild programs, opportunity youth — young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor employed — pursue their education, prepare for future careers and grow into community leaders, building brighter futures for themselves and their neighborhoods.

The national Neighborhood Builders award consists of flexible funding and one year of leadership training for two team members: senior leader Gina Plata, YouthBuild USA’s chief program officer, and emerging leader Lauren Vermouth, YouthBuild USA’s director of technical assistance. Program topics range from strategic storytelling to human capital management, highlighting the themes that are critical to moving the nonprofit sector forward within broader socio-economic contexts. As part of this year’s training for emerging leaders, John Valverde, president and CEO of YouthBuild USA, joined Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, for a fireside chat with the Neighborhood Builder network. Valverde shared his leadership journey, his reflections on the urgency of racial equity, and the value of collaboration in working to solve systemic problems.

“With love and respect, YouthBuild USA partners with opportunity youth as they build the next greatest version of themselves,” said Valverde. “This work could not be done without institutions like Bank of America that recognize the importance of advancing equity and, most importantly, take action to improve our communities and support the next generation of leaders. We are honored to be named a Neighborhood Builder awardee.”

Neighborhood Builder awardees are organizations leading the charge to address issues related to economic mobility – from workforce readiness and basic needs, to broader community development solutions. In receiving this honor, YouthBuild USA joins a network of 2,600 like-minded peer organizations across the U.S. that shares best practices, groundbreaking solutions and approaches to community sustainability through economic mobility.

“Nonprofits like YouthBuild are critical in ensuring that youth reach their full potential through education, skills development in high-demand employment sectors, supportive services, and leadership development,” said Sullivan. “In addition to connecting the organization with funding and leadership development as a national Neighborhood Builder, we are continuing to share their ongoing work with our broader Neighborhood Builder community as a demonstration of innovative solutions to some of today’s most complex challenges.”

Since 2004, Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program has invested more than $260 million in 50 communities, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and helping more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills.

YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for a global network of 290 local YouthBuild programs in 18 countries, with 233 programs in 46 U.S. states and territories and 57 programs in 17 other countries. With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood and leadership. Responding to the urgent need for knowledge, training and opportunity, YouthBuild primarily serves young people who lack a high school diploma and financial resources.

About YouthBuild

With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood, and leadership. At nearly 300 YouthBuild programs across the United States and around the world, students reclaim their education, gain job skills, and become leaders in their communities. To date, YouthBuild has partnered with more than 180,000 young people to dedicate over 50 million hours of service benefitting urban, rural, and tribal communities. YouthBuild strives to create a world where all young people are seen for their potential, and power to transform themselves and their communities. YouthBuild USA – the support center for the YouthBuild movement – strengthens YouthBuild programs through technical assistance, leadership development, innovative program enhancements, and advocacy. YouthBuild programs located outside of the United States are supported by YouthBuild USA’s international division, YouthBuild International.

For more information about the YouthBuild movement, YouthBuild USA, and YouthBuild International, visit

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.


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