Bank of America presents awards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Bank of America Charitable Foundation presented two Charlotte-area nonprofits with its Neighborhood Builder Awards.

As award recipients, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and YWCA Central Carolinas will receive $200,000 each in unrestricted grants to continue to promote healthy communities in the Charlotte area.

“Bank of America has long held the belief that a healthy community is a healthy place to do business, and we are committed to creating real impact in the Charlotte community,” Charles Bowman, president of the North Carolina and Charlotte market at Bank of America, says in a statement.

The food bank, which provides groceries for over 600 nonprofits and churches in 19 counties, also educates people in the community about how to combat hunger.

The YWCA aims to strengthen and empower women, combat racism, and provide safe, affordable housing for women and girls seeking employment in Charlotte.

The Neighborhood Builder award is one of three prongs of the bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, which also recognizes exemplary community and student leaders through its Local Heroes and Student Leaders awards.

The five recipients of the Local Heroes awards are:

  • Carlos Beteta, volunteer with Mi Casa Su Casa
  • Elizabeth Black, volunteer with Crisis Assistance Ministry, March of Dimes and American Cancer Society
  • Frances Hall, founder of the Beatties Ford Road Family Counseling Center
  • Aaron Means, chair of the Police Athletic League and president of 100 Black Men of Charlotte
  • Julian Wright, co-founder of Seigle Avenue Partners

Each Local Heroes award recipient will receive $5,000 to direct toward the nonprofit of his or her choice.

The five Student Leader award recipients, who participated in an eight-week internship with a Charlotte-area nonprofit and attended a leadership summit in Washington, D.C., are:

  • Richard Allen of Hickory Grove Baptist Christian School
  • Joi Aria Emanuel of Harding University High School
  • Jonathan Fox of Myers Park High School
  • Obinnaya Okwara of Charlotte Latin School
  • Arcena Todd of Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology

Started in 2004, the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative has recognized more than 400 nonprofits and over 2,000 individuals for outstanding contributions to their communities.

Bank of America plans to commit $20 million to the initiative world-wide in 2008.

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