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John Hancock Celebrates 15 Years of MLK Scholars Program Driving Inclusive Economic Opportunities and Creating a More Equal Playing Field for All
Brittany StraughnJuly 05, 2022
John Hancock has invested over $15 million to provide summer jobs, financial education, and professional development opportunities to over 6,000 young people since program inception
BOSTON, July 5, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, John Hancock, the US division of Toronto-based Manulife (NYSE: MFC), celebrates the 15th anniversary of its annual MLK Scholars Program, the Nation's largest and most comprehensive corporate summer jobs program of its kind. Since the program's inception in 2008, the program has provided summer employment for more than 6,000 Boston youth at nonprofit organizations throughout Boston and at John Hancock.
"This year marks a momentous anniversary for our MLK Scholars Program," said Marianne Harrison, John Hancock president and CEO. "For the past 15 years, the program has gone far beyond a summer job for students – it also provides the skills, knowledge, education, and advice that will help them succeed across many aspects of their lives. For many Scholars, the professional relationships and financial capability established throughout the summer provide the foundation for a meaningful and prosperous future. John Hancock is extremely proud of the MLK Scholars Program and its ability to drive inclusive economic opportunities for our young people to help build a more equitable Boston."
Each summer, in partnership with The Boston Globe, Boston University, Mass General Brigham, and the City of Boston, John Hancock sponsors the employment of nearly 600 Boston teens at 50 local non-profit and corporate organizations. This unique youth employment model empowers Boston teens with career readiness skills and financial literacy tools, in addition to a steady paycheck.
"The MLK Scholars program is a proven model of success for Boston's youth and for leading private and public institutions," Michelle Wu, Mayor of Boston, said. "Thanks to the resources and guidance from partners like John Hancock, our City is leading the way on summer jobs programs. We encourage others to join us in our continued commitment to youth employment and financial education."
The John Hancock MLK Scholars summer jobs model leverages youth employment to build capacity within the non-profit community for summer programming, creating opportunities for long-term employment within our public service and private corporate sectors. The program benefits the organizations that employ MLK Scholars by engaging Boston's diverse student population in potential career paths in their industries – with some students even returning as college interns and full-time hires. At the same time, Scholars are given equitable access to economic opportunity through financial education, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
Through the program, students also have access to a one-of-a-kind digital education program featuring financial and mental wellness resources for young adults in partnership with EVERFI. Since 2018, this digital education has been a resource not just for participants in the MLK Scholars program, but for all youth participating in summer employment programs supported by the Boston Private Industry Council and the City of Boston.
A new survey of Massachusetts youth conducted by EVERFI and John Hancock shows that more than three in four respondents who participated in a summer youth employment program and had access to the John Hancock Well-Being Education Center agreed that receiving a regular paycheck changed the way they think about managing money, that the education they received over the summer helped them manage their money, and that they now feel more prepared to manage their money. For the third year, young people participating in Boston summer youth employment programs including MLK Scholars reported a positive impact on their financial management confidence and plans from participating in both the education and employment opportunities.
The report proves that summer youth employment programs provide participants with a valuable combination of receiving a regular paycheck and ongoing education to support personal financial skill development, with 78 percent of respondents stating that they feel more prepared to manage their money than they did before participating in the program. Further, participants reported higher levels of resilience and optimism than their peers in Massachusetts. Nearly nine in ten participants (89%) agreed that "when faced with challenges, I believe that I have the power to change my situation for the better." In comparison, just three quarters (75%) of Massachusetts high school juniors and seniors agreed during the 2020-2021 school year. Similarly, more summer youth employment program participants reported being optimistic about their own future (86%) than Massachusetts high school students more broadly (77%).
EVERFI and John Hancock's 2022 research report summarizes the findings from 227 youth who responded to surveys during the summer of 2021 about their financial preparedness, the value of employment and financial education, and their plans for the future, including educational and financial goals. Where possible, comparisons are made to responses from a sample of Massachusetts high school juniors and seniors participating in EVERFI's education programs. Comparisons are drawn from responses collected before students began an EVERFI course.
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better by providing financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.
One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports more than ten million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance and annuities. John Hancock also supports US investors by bringing leading investment capabilities and retirement planning and administration expertise to individuals and institutions. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock
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