Step Up Savannah Awarded Grant from Bank of America

Staff Report

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Step Up Savannah is excited to announce the receipt of $10,000 from Bank of America to support its work for economic inclusion across Chatham County. 

These funds will be used for workforce development and financial literacy to support the work Step Up Savannah is doing to address economic equity, advocacy, and economic mobility for low wealth communities. “Households of Color in Savannah have an asset poverty rate of 43.5% compared to their white counterparts at 19.8%. Our goal is to increase the number of positive economic mobility outcomes through our direct servicing programs and address the gap of economic equity in our community. Bank of America’s continued commitment to economic inclusion and workforce development in our region is a prime example of why they were selected for a 2022 Opportunity Award awarded at the 2022 Step Up Savannah Annual Meeting. We are grateful for their continued support and partnership in this critical work,” said Executive Director, Alicia M. Johnson. 

The cycle of poverty often repeats over generations, leaving families feeling trapped under the weight of financial burdens. Step Up Savannah recognizes the impacts that generational wealth gaps can have on the economic mobility of local individuals and families and is on a mission to help all members of our community establish financial knowledge and independence. Step Up Savannah focuses on a few key areas to create actual change and position lower-income individuals for financial success: direct service programs, advocacy and education, and community resource collaboration. 

“Financial education and job reskilling is key to economic opportunity and social progress in Savannah,” said Patrick O’Neil, president, Bank of America Savannah. “This investment with Step Up Savannah is just one way we are deploying capital locally to help remove barriers to economic success and build a more sustainable community.” 

Since 2009, Step Up has helped thousands of unemployed and under-employed Chatham County residents on the path to financial stability. By providing opportunities for economic mobility among low-wealth families and individuals, the nonprofit seeks to end the cycle of persistent poverty for residents. Step Up Savannah has six direct service programs: AmeriCorps VISTA, Chatham Apprentice Program, Level Up, Neighborhood Leadership Academy, Public Benefits, and the Working Families Network. Since 2006, Step Up Savannah has served over 200,000 individuals.