Bank of America names Soteria its first Neighborhood Champion.

Bank of America on Wednesday announced the launch of its Neighborhood Champions program in the Upstate, naming Soteria Community Development Corp. as its inaugural awardee.

Neighborhood Champions supports the role strong nonprofit leaders play in advancing economic mobility and is an extension of the bank's signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country, according to a news release.In addition to Upstate, the bank will take the program to 40 communities across the country this fall as part of its initiative to invest in the long-term health of communities, the release said.

Soteria will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector, according to the release. Soteria Community Development Corp. advocates for economic and social justice for individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system. They work to create opportunities for previously incarcerated men to reenter society through transitional housing, life skills and job training.

"We're thrilled to bring the Neighborhood Champions program to our community," Stacy Brandon, Bank of America market president for the Upstate, said in the release."Through flexible funding and leadership resources, partners like Soteria Community Development Corp. have the power to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helpsthem make even greater strides...

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