Bank of America donates $1 million to Baruch to help fight racial inequality

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Baruch College

Farah Javed

Bank of America donated $1 million to Baruch College as part of its initiative to help Black and Latino students. Baruch was the first college in the Northeast to be given this funding.

The company announced that it will be donating to 21 colleges and universities across the United States with the goal to provide funding to fuel counseling and programs to help Latino and Black students graduate and secure a job.

Within four years, Bank of America said it hopes to expand the initiative and donate $1 billion toward closing racial inequality gaps.

“It was an intentional focus on public institutions,” Ebony Thomas, an executive of the racial-equality and economic-opportunity initiatives at Bank of America’s Charlotte, North Carolina branch, said.

Donations are intended to “amplify and magnify those institutions, and continue to double down and create more of a career path and opportunity for those students in the labor market,” she added.

Hence, the donated money will be allocated toward “intense programming support for service and experiential learning opportunities, culturally responsive counseling services and relationship-building efforts with faculty and mentors in the student’s field of study,” the Baruch News Center reported.

Bank of America’s donation will also serve to provide career services. It is intended to help Black and Latino students network and build relationships through a “global web of alumni.”

It will also fuel Baruch’s Rising Starr Sophomore Program. With more money and the ability to provide services, the program will be used toward combating “the trend of greater attrition among Black and Latino students in their second and third years.”

The $1 million will also go toward establishing the program Black and Latinx Success Amplified. Besides focusing on academic and career success, this program will provide family support.

Offered in both Spanish and English, Black and Latino students, as well as their families, will be guided and helped until they’re alumni.

This donation comes at a time where the nation’s percentage of Black and Latino students completing college in six years comes at 28.8% and 37.1% respectively.

Though 57% of Black students and more than 60% of Latino students have graduated from Baruch College over the past five years, Baruch seeks “to close the gap to its overall six-year graduation rate of 69.9%, which is significantly higher than schools serving students from similar academic and economic backgrounds.”

Baruch President S. David Wu expressed both hope and gratitude toward Bank of America’s donation.

“We are grateful to Bank of America for this generous gift, and together, we reassert our commitment to racial equality and economic opportunity. We look forward to creating an ever more robust and concentrated focus on expanding career and professional leadership opportunities for Black and Latino students, thereby elevating opportunities for all of our students,” Wu said.