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Bank of America Invests $3.15 Million in Houston

45-City Neighborhood Excellence Initiative® Strengthens Local Economies, Invests in Leadership, Supports Jobs and Social Services

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As part of an ongoing effort to stimulate economic vitality in Houston and in communities across the nation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced $450,000 in flexible funding and leadership training to local Houston nonprofits through its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, bringing the bank’s total commitment in Houston to $3.15 million since 2004.

The initiative continues to help hundreds of the nation’s most impactful nonprofits improve their long-term viability and bolster leadership strength, retain and hire new staff, and extend the depth and reach of their services – capabilities that are integral to community revitalization and critical in the current economy when nonprofit funding is down and demand for services is up.

Chinese Community Center, a comprehensive social service nonprofit that provides support programs to a diverse population in Southwest Houston, and Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, which currently serves 72,000 girls in grades K -12 through programs that build courage and character, have been named 2010 Houston Neighborhood Builders®, the nonprofit category of the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. Each organization will receive $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding and participate in Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program® with other nonprofit leaders from 45 communities across the country and London.

“Through our Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, we are helping to generate meaningful and cumulative economic and social impact at the local level where it’s needed most,” said Kim Ruth, Texas State President and Houston Market President at Bank of America. “In Houston and across the country, we are leveraging the combined strength of our philanthropy and lending and investing initiatives to help set opportunity in motion for organizations, families, individuals and entire neighborhoods.”

The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative honors two other categories of community leaders: Local Heroes and Student Leaders®.

Local Heroes contribute significantly to the health of their neighborhood through volunteer service and civic engagement. With this recognition, they will direct a $5,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.

2010 Houston Local Heroes are:

    · Fredrick Dawson, of Houston, will direct his grant to Taping for the Blind
    · Tarsha Gary, of Houston, will direct her grant to Community Artist Collective
    · Sharon Grimm, of Houston, will direct her grant to AIDS Foundation of Houston
    · Dale Pillow, of Pearland, will direct her grant to Adult Reading Center
    · Kathy Stewart, of Humble, will direct her grant to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Student Leaders, who are exemplary teens with a passion for improving their communities, participated in paid, eight-week internships at Houston nonprofits this summer (at the height of the teen unemployment rate) and gathered in Washington, D.C. for a weeklong summit to learn how service creates positive change in communities and to gain tools and resources to help them continue to make a difference in their local communities.

2010 Houston Student Leaders are:

    · Josephine Do, of Houston and a recent graduate of Klein Forest High School, interned at Communities in Schools this summer
    · Michael Guenther, of Houston and a senior at Memorial High School, interned at Communities in Schools this summer
    · Ellen Liu, of Houston and a recent graduate of James E. Taylor High School, interned at Houston A+ Challenge this summer
    · Joycelyn Ovalle, of Houston and a recent graduate of Alief Taylor High School, interned at Houston A+ Challenge this summer
    · Rhiana Smith, of Houston and a recent graduate of Bellaire Senior High School, interned at Communities in Schools this summer

All 2010 Houston recipients will be honored at an event this fall.

WHEN:
The Bank of America Center, Lobby
700 Louisiana Street
Houston, Texas 77002

WHERE:
October 27th

TIME:
5:45 P.M. – 7:15 P.M.
*Program begins at 6:15 P.M.

SPEAKERS:
Melanie Lawson, ABC13 Anchor

Application Information for 2011:
The application period for the 2011 Student Leaders program opened October 1, 2010 and closes on January 12, 2011.
For Neighborhood Builders and Local Heroes, the application period runs January 1, 2011 through June 1, 2011.
To apply, interested individuals should visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/neighborhoodexcellence.

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, last year Bank of America embarked on a new, 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2009, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States. Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, the bank announced the “Million Hour Challenge,” a pledge by the company’s associates around the world to donate 1 million volunteer hours by the end of 2010. In 2009, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 800,000 hours to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.

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