BofA donates $20,000 to CSET

Community Services and Employment Training receives annual grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation for ninth year in a row

VISALIA – While inflation and gas prices have left people light on cash, Bank of America continues to make sizable contribution to employment nonprofits in Tulare County.

For the ninth consecutive year, Bank of America funded the Community Services and Employment Training (CSET) summer youth employment program.

In late June, the bank presented CSET with a $20,000 grant to support the program and present an opportunity for youth in Tulare County to gain knowledge about joining the workplace. This will also earn them a stipend to assist them in reaching their future goals.

Sara Besson, supervisor for the summer youth employment program, said the workplace training given through the program branches out into many different opportunities, from Kaweah Health to the Dinuba Fire Department, Logiq, Calico Mermaid in Porterville, Community Theater in Lindsay and more.

Besson additionally clarified that all grant funds go to students of the program. 

“One of the really good things about this grant is that 100% of the funds go to the student,” she said. “We don’t take any money for overhead costs or anything like that. We get $20,000, kids get $20,000.”

For a little more on the partnership between the organization and Bank of America, a report from CSET provided some further insight.

“Over the last eight years, CSET and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have prepared hundreds of youth and young adults for good careers that match their interests. This enduring partnership helps young people break through the cycle of intergenerational poverty through education, mentorship, skill development and job training,” it read.

“Young people who participate in the Work Based Learning Program not only receive important training as they prepare to enter the workforce, they also receive comprehensive wraparound services from CSET that provide access to safe housing, parenting resources, justice system navigation, healthy food, income tax preparation services, drug/alcohol abuse prevention information and pathways to career exploration and educational attainment.”

After the presentation, a group of Bank of America volunteers gave a well-received financial training class to the 19 teens participating in this year’s program using the bank’s free Better Money Habits program as a training tool.

In addition to the grant for CSET, Bank of America awarded grants to Family Services of Tulare County for its supportive housing program and the Visalia Emergency Aid Council for its Fight to End Hunger program. Overall, the bank contributed $278,000 to 15 nonprofits serving the region this year.

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