On Tuesday, October 16th, UTEC and other nonprofits were invited to Bank of America’s Opportunity Youth panel discussion to highlight key trends and solutions for young people in low and moderate income communities.

The panel discussion was hosted by Bank of America Charitable Foundation President Kerry Sullivan. First, Kerry featured a Q&A with Year Up’s CEO Gerald Chertavian and Year Up alum Chanel Nova, who is now a Bank of America US Trust employee.

Chanel spoke about her experience with Year Up’s program, mentioning the vigorous courses, her determination, the support of her peers and mentors, the opportunity she was given to do an internship with Bank of America that has become a four-year (so far!) career. Year Up helped Chanel close the growing gap between entry-level positions and young adults who are qualified and capable, but might lack the social capital to tap into this market.

This conversation led into next Q&A, featuring leaders from UTEC, InnerCity Weightlifting, and Bridge over Troubled Waters. All three identified systemic challenges for opportunity youth that go beyond individual barriers, including segregated neighborhoods along race and class distinctions, noted Jon Feinman of InnerCity Weightlifting.

“Our young people don’t have power – yet,” said Elisabeth Jackson of Bridge over Troubled Waters. “The hope factor” is important for young ppl who will encounter bumps and setbacks along the way, said UTEC’s Gregg Croteau. “If you see something is possible, you keep going.”

We appreciate Bank of America’s commitment to showing young adults that many career pathways are possible. More than $40 million has been invested into workforce programs by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and UTEC is grateful to be among the grantee partners who serve opportunity youth and impact young adults.

 

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Source: Lowell Sun