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Office of News & Public Affairs

Bank of America Foundation Awards $1M to BC for BofA Leaders in Urban Education Program

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (7-18-2011) – Boston College’s Lynch School of Education has been awarded a $1-million grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation that will support graduate students preparing to lead city schools, Lynch School Interim Dean Maureen Kenny and Bank of America officials have announced.

The grant will fund the new Bank of America Leaders in Urban Education program, providing scholarships to graduate students at the Lynch School who are preparing to work as educators and leaders in city schools in Boston, as well as throughout Massachusetts and the U.S.

"The Bank of America Leaders in Urban Education program will link the best academic resources of Boston College with a corporate leader committed to enhancing the life chances of children, youth, and families through education," said Kenny. "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bank of America Charitable Foundation to train the next generation of leaders for urban schools."

The program will expand upon BC’s successful Bank of America Scholars Program, which has been preparing urban teachers since 2004. Approximately 92 percent of the graduates of the program are teaching in elementary and secondary schools, with 80 percent teaching in urban schools. The high retention rates far surpass urban teacher retention rates of less than 50 percent.

The Bank of America Leaders in Urban Education program will recruit highly qualified graduate students with experience working with community-based organizations focused on improving urban schools. Students will have demonstrated leadership potential through their commitments to groups like Teach for America, City Year, AmeriCorps VISTA and Catholic Volunteer Services. To identify these emerging leaders, the Lynch School will build on its strategic partnerships with feeder organizations like Teach for America and IdeaList.org, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers and California Forums for Diversity in Graduate Education.

Once enrolled, participants in the program will undergo rigorous academic and hands-on educational experience at one of the nation’s top-ranked schools of education.

The award was announced as part of a Bank of America Charitable Foundation goal to invest $50 million over the next three years toward education initiatives leading to economic self-sufficiency through employment.  The funds will support programs that bridge the achievement gap to post-secondary education completion and connect the underserved and unemployed, as well as returning veterans and individuals with disabilities to workforce success in high-growth sectors.

Other organizations funded through the initiative include Achieving the Dream, Citizen Schools, City Year and the GreenLight Fund.

--Ed Hayward, Office of News & Public Affairs, ed.hayward@bc.edu