Serve to LEAD’s JumpStart program bridges gaps for diverse Asheville youth

Press release from Bank of America and Serve to LEAD

Serve to LEAD today announced a $120,000 grant from Bank of America over two years to support the nonprofit’s JumpStart Initiative, which provides workforce development opportunities and quality childcare for diverse Asheville youth. Local high school students have mentored elementary school students this summer, as part of these ongoing efforts to advance upward mobility for both groups.

Serve to LEAD’s JumpStart program started June 20, offering job opportunities for high school students while also helping bridge educational gaps for elementary school students. The program was created with the goal of making a positive impact on diverse Asheville youth who have been historically affected by gentrification in their community.

“Serve to LEAD has created a unique environment that engages young people and leverages their talents and abilities to make a difference in their community,” said Andy Nadeau, President, Bank of America Asheville. “This summer high school students and elementary school students were paired to learn from each other and access resources that help address inequities in community and health services. Bank of America recognizes the importance of programs like JumpStart to create systemic change and shape the next generation of servant leaders.”

Serve to LEAD has partnered with Bank of America for the last three years, aligned with the bank’s commitment to racial equality and continued efforts to advance economic mobility in low-income communities.

“Bank of America’s partnership with Serve to LEAD and the Youthful HAND JumpStart program is making a positive impact and advancing the academic and workforce readiness skills of children and youth in the Asheville community,” said Jessica Tripp, Executive Director, Serve to LEAD. “We are thankful for their ongoing partnership and commitment to programs that value equity and help all children grow to their greatest potential.”

Additionally, the JumpStart program includes a collaboration with Bank of America and Dogwood Health Trust (DHT) to address the social conditions that impact health and wellbeing of those living in Western North Carolina.

Serve to LEAD’s prior success in the Hillcrest community paved the way for expanded outreach through this multi-year gift into other low-income communities in the region. In 2021, Serve to LEAD received $30,000 from Bank of America. Serve to LEAD also served as the host nonprofit organization for the 2021 and 2022 Bank of America Student Leaders program.