Youth Guidance receives grant from Bank of America to support workforce development programs

Twelve teenagers and young adults received their forklift certification as part of the Youth Guidance Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

To strengthen our community in the Treasure Coast, Bank of America is helping address barriers to basic needs, workforce development, and education by directing grant funding to Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy.

Bank of America recently awarded Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy a grant for $10,000. These funds will enable Youth Guidance to continue its workforce development and pre-apprenticeship programs for youth ages 12-24 living with limited resources in Indian River County.

Youth Guidance serves approximately 250 children, teenagers, and young adults every year. Through Bank of America’s grant and partnership, the grant will be used to provide youth ages 12-24 group mentoring programs that teach various life skills, including: culinary arts, sewing, bicycle repair, boat mechanics, and gardening.  

The grant will also support the Youth Guidance Pre-Apprenticeship, the only pre-apprenticeship in Indian River County. Over eight months, youth ages 16-24 will learn five trades, including HVAC, welding, carpentry, electric, and plumbing. Those who complete the entire course will receive six professional certifications that will help them start a career in the trades. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Bank of America to help prepare our youth for careers and explore the trades industry,” said Phil Barnes, Executive Director of Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy. “This partnership will play a key role in our efforts to provide local children and young adults with hands-on experience while earning professional certifications.”

Youth Guidance implemented the pre-apprenticeship for the first time from October 2021 to May 2022. Out of the 15 students who participated, 14 received professional certifications. Upon graduation, one student started his career as an apprentice electrician.  

The pre-apprenticeship will start again in Fall 2022 in partnership with the Indian River County School District. Youth Guidance anticipates serving 20 students this coming year.

This grant is aligned with the bank’s broader efforts to advance economic opportunity and equity through health, jobs and reskilling, affordable housing, and small business. As part of those efforts, the bank has granted a total of $150,000 to 14 Treasure Coast nonprofits so far this year.  

“Investing in this partnership is part of our approach to driving economic opportunity and social progress in Indian River County,” said Susan Rabinowitz, president, Bank of America Treasure Coast. “This grant is just one way we are deploying resources locally to help remove barriers to economic success and build a more sustainable community.”

In addition to its grant funding, Bank of America’s 243 Treasure Coast teammates pitch in roughly 2,900 volunteer hours yearly. With the constantly changing landscape, charitable grants and fundraising are critical to support the important work of our nonprofit partners. 

Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy is dedicated to enriching the lives of Indian River County youth through mentoring relationships that inspire trust, self-esteem, and positive futures. Founded in 1973, Youth Guidance provides daily meals as well as one-on-one and group mentoring programs to children and young adults ages 5-24 with limited resources.

After school, students complete their homework under the supervision of trained Youth Guidance staff. Then they participate in group mentoring programs that include vocational training, life skills, and STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). All programs and meals are provided free of charge thanks to the generosity of the local community.

If you are interested in learning more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy or making a donation, please call 772.492.3933, or visit our website at


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