Bank of America: Helping people achieve their vision of success

Bank of America volunteers at the JA Stock Market Challenge

Through their partnership with Junior Achievement, Bank of America has consistently demonstrated their commitment to improving the financial lives of individuals, families and businesses in Colorado. Bank of America goes beyond providing financial services to people by fostering economic and social development. They recognize that helping people achieve their vision of success is vital to driving growth, which inspires them to support Junior Achievement youth in a number of ways.

Bank of America’s outstanding volunteering service exemplifies their commitment to helping youth achieve a successful financial future. Over the years, Bank of America has devoted countless hours to teaching Junior Achievement programs. For the 2015-16 school year, Bank of America was one of 23 partner companies who received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award for their volunteering service for Junior Achievement. Bank of America was one of the top ten Gold Level winners who devoted 15,000 or more volunteer hours to teaching JA programs. Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, Bank of America has taught over 80 courses to local youth, including JA Personal Finance, JA Finance Park, and JA Stock Market Challenge.

In addition to teaching, Bank of America has supported many of Junior Achievement’s special events – particularly the JA Stock Market Challenge. This year, Bank of America is the presenting sponsor for the corporate JA Stock Market Challenge that will raise money to allow 1,300 local high school students to participate in the student version of the event. Bank of America presented last year’s JA Stock Market Challenge, and devoted many volunteer hours and generously supported the event. Bank of America has also supported and participated in previous JA Golf Classics and JA Bowl-A-Thons.

“JA would not be possible without the support of organizations like Bank of America,” said Robin Wise, president and CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. “In the past two years, Bank of America’s contributions provided JA programs to thousands of students in Denver area low-to-moderate income schools.”

One individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in their work with Junior Achievement is Matt Stotler, Senior Vice President and Banking Regional Manager for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Matt has made volunteering for Junior Achievement part of his banking career for the past 20 years, and has served as the Chair for the Youth and Education division of the Bank of America Community Volunteer group for the past three years.

Matt is driven by helping young people, especially those living in lower income communities, embrace opportunities to learn about finances. “Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of a thriving economy,” said Stotler. “Giving students the opportunity early to see the benefits, along with the hard work that goes into running a business, is a tremendous motivator for them to stay focused on their education.”

Another individual who has had a positive influence on Junior Achievement is Jodi Rolland, Global Commercial Banking Market Executive for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Jodi is member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement and has taught Junior Achievement programs for the past 17 years. From an early age, Jodi learned the importance of hard work. Her mother died when she was only seven years old, and she was raised by her three older sisters. Her upbringing drives her work ethic and desire to help others live better financial lives.

Reflecting on her experiences volunteering, Jodi states, “To see the look on little kids’ faces when we’re there teaching them about money and their financial futures, and to see the impact that it can make on them and what they bring home to their families is truly significant.” Rolland continues, “Financial literacy and the effects of it start at the earliest of ages, and that’s why we teach from kindergarten up how to be financially responsible. I believe by doing this, we not only change the look but the feel of our communities, our city and workforce for the future.”