In the summer of 2018 The Bank of America Foundation generously awarded a $10,000 grant to YWCA Clark County’s Independent Living Skills Program (ILS) for the program’s project “Fostering Independence and Workforce Development for Foster Youth.”
ILS helps foster youth age 15-21 successfully transition from state-supported care to independent living. One of the ways ILS provides support is by assisting youth with pursuing employment.
Not having access to a phone or appropriate work clothing can be a significant barrier when it comes to seeking employment. When youth don’t have an income or support system to assist with these purchases, it can be the difference between becoming employed or staying unemployed. Bank of America’s support contributed to the success of ILS participants.
Anna* asked ILS to help her with securing employment and address some barriers that she was experiencing. ILS was able to help Anna with her phone bill so she could maintain communication with prospective employers. A critical piece of obtaining employment is producing a state-issued ID. ILS was able to work with Anna to obtain a State ID as well as attend Driver’s Education classes to work towards getting her Driver’s License. Additionally, ILS purchased interview clothing. Once she was offered a position at Safeway, ILS helped Anna purchase work-appropriate clothing to adhere to their dress code.
Currently, Anna is saving up for a car and taking steps to finish her high school diploma. Bank of America helped Anna stay competitive and have success in the business market. Anna is excited about achieving her goals and working towards creating a life that she envisions for herself. One where she can flourish and provide for herself and her dog.
In addition to providing crucial funding for foster youth, representatives from Bank of America came to an ILS club meeting and shared valuable insights about budgeting, saving and how to use and build credit with our ILS participants.
Financial education is crucial knowledge that many youth in the foster care system don’t receive as they age out of care and seek to build a life on their own.
Both the funding and the commitment to financial education were extremely beneficial to our ILS participants.
“We’re very thankful to Bank of America for supporting our youth’s employment and financial literacy goals,” said Kit Kuran, Director of Independent Living Skills Program. “Because of Bank of America’s commitment to our community, participants in the Independent Living Skills Program learned invaluable money managing skills and received financial support to find and maintain employment, helping them meet their goals for independence!”
Jessica Hewitt and Kevin Jones from Bank of
America presented the check and taught “Better Money Habits” to our ILS participants