We empower people to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to achieve financial security. We focus on innovative career readiness and asset building programs designed to reduce financial stress and address the capacity and resiliency of the whole person. Our goal is to help individuals and families break out of the cycle of poverty and improve their economic resiliency.
Working in close partnership with The Boston Globe, Boston University, Partners HealthCare, The Ad Club, and the City of Boston, John Hancock's MLK Scholars program addresses what is deemed a critical need in Boston - summer jobs for city youth.
Each summer, John Hancock sponsors the employment of over 600 Boston teens at nearly 60 local non-profit organizations—the largest summer jobs program of its kind in United States. The MLK Scholars program is built on the inspirational values and legacy of its namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This empowering program turns scholars into leaders, in the office, the classroom and the greater community. To elevate the work experience, John Hancock organizes a series of Leadership Forums held at Boston University, and provides access to an online finanical literacy course. The program connects scholars to business and civic leaders, challenges them to learn new skills, and inspires them to realize the difference they can make in their communities.
Non-profit organizations accepted for partnership will be required to adhere to the program requirements described below.
MLK Scholars Program Structure
Selected non-profit partners will receive at least $1,825 for each MLK Scholar position awarded. Partners will have the flexibility to recruit and hire Scholars from their communities provided that they meet Scholar eligibility criteria.
MLK Scholars is open to teens, who are full-time residents of the City of Boston, preferably within the target age range of 16–18, and have demonstrated leadership qualities.
As part of the summer experience, youth participants, from neighborhoods throughout the City, are required to attend personal development workshops and complete an online financial education course. The curriculum consistently integrates important messages on social responsibility, leadership development, and civic engagement.
The program typically runs from early July through mid-August.
Non-profit organizations agree to do the following to ensure an appropriate and rich developmental experience for youth:
1. Recruit, identify and select appropriate youth who fulfill the MLK Scholars Criteria.
2. Follow all Federal and State labor laws including minimum wage laws.
3. Provide youth with substantive and engaging work for a minimum of 20 hours per week, along with professional supervision and oversight throughout the summer.
4. Participate fully in the program:
Sign a Program Agreement, to be provided by John Hancock upon acceptance.
Register all Scholars for the program through an online link to be provided by John Hancock.
Implement John Hancock waiver in the Scholars’ onboarding process.
Respond fully to MLKS communications and inquiries.
Attend Nonprofit Partner Meetings at John Hancock.
Commit 1 staff member to volunteer at the Leadership Forums if awarded 5 or more scholars.
Ensure Scholars complete assigned online EVERFI modules during the work week.
At the end of the summer, complete the Organization Survey once per organization, and ensure all Scholars submit Youth Survey responses.
MLK Scholars Criteria
Organizations are also responsible for ensuring their MLK Scholars fit the following criteria:
Scholars are within target age range of 16-18.
Scholars are full-time residents of the City of Boston.
Scholars can attend the Leadership Forums, a series of four Friday morning workshops during the summer.
If your organization has any questions about its ability to meet the letter or spirit of the program, we encourage you to contact us directly to discuss your concerns.
Organization Application Process
We are now accepting applications for the 2020 MLK Scholars Program. Interested nonprofit partners may apply via the application below. Applications are due 5:00pm, Friday, December 20th. Decisions will be announced on MLK Day 2020.
2019 MLK Partners
MLK Scholars Alumni
John Hancock and our partners created the MLK Scholars Program in 2008 to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for promising Boston city students. Read below to see where they are now.
In addition, we are proud to support a range of programs and organizations that foster financial empowerment throughout our community: