Financial Empowerment

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We help empower people to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to achieve economic mobility. We focus on innovative career readiness, job training, and financial literacy programs that are designed to help people succeed in a fast-changing economy.


MLK Scholars

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 70 local non-profit organizations—the largest summer jobs program of its kind. 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 Mayor Menino Leadership Forums held at Boston University. The forums expose scholars to business and civic leaders, challenge them to learn new skills, and inspire them to realize the difference they can make in their communities. 



MLK Scholars Program Structure

Selected organizations will receive $1,825 for each MLK Scholar position awarded.

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 bi-weekly personal development workshops. The workshops are intended to guide the teens through a discovery process where they can explore their current path and focus on next steps in achieving education and employment goals. The curriculum consistently integrates important messages on social responsibility, leadership development, and civic involvement.

The program will begin on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 and end on Friday, August 18, 2017.


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We are proud to support a range of programs and organizations that foster financial empowerment throughout our community:

Inner-City Weightlifting

InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) reduces youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new networks and opportunities, including meaningful career tracks in and beyond personal fitness. ICW uses the gym to replace segregation and isolation with economic mobility and social inclusion, disrupting the system that leads to urban street violence. John Hancock supports ICW with a significant community investment grant.


John Hancock partnered with the Mayor of Boston’s Office of Public Safety and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s YouthConnect to launch this multi-year program in June 2015. Enhancing Potential, Inspiring Change (EPIC) is a 12-month program which aims to increase skills, self-awareness and confidence in youth 11 to 14 years-old. Each year, approximately 50 youth participate in the program, beginning with a summer experience through a Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston site, followed by small group workshops throughout the academic year, ongoing case management, and afterschool programming. The program also provides participants with community-based services and activities.

Ron Burton Training Village

The mission of the Ron Burton Training Village (RBTV) is to enrich the lives of challenged youth in the areas of dynamic character and leadership development, physical fitness, social and educational advancement, and spiritual growth. All campers attend on scholarship (free of charge) so that no child is turned away because of their financial situation.  The year-round program uses academic study, athletic competition, and a commitment to community to teach teamwork, sportsmanship, and moral conduct. RBTV supports the development of the entire human being, and reflects the man who designed it, lived it, and passed it on. Ron Burton, Sr., had a dream to start a camp where kids would come to train and attain personal growth in such a way as to succeed in every facet of life. John Hancock has been a significant partner to RBTV since the beginning, as Ron Burton Sr. worked at the company for over 35 years.  

More than Words

More Than Words (MTW) empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. MTW believes that when system-involved youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become contributing members of society.  More Than Words began as an online bookselling training program for youth in Department CF custody in 2004 and opened its vibrant bookstore on Moody St in Waltham in 2005 and added its Starbucks coffee bar in 2008. MTW replicated its model in the South End of Boston in 2011, thereby doubling the number of youth served annually. John Hancock supports ICW with a significant community investment grant.


John Hancock has committed significant efforts and resources to improve the financial capability of Americans through unique digital learning initiatives. John Hancock partners with EverFi to bring its web-based program to students at no cost to thirty-five schools in the Detroit area over six-hundred Boston teens. John Hancock’s MLK Scholars and John Hancock Michigan Scholars programs use the latest in simulation and gaming technologies to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. 

The application for Summer 2017 is now closed. To be notified when the application for Summer 2018 is live, please sign up here.

We’re excited to announce our 2017 program partners:

Archdale Community Center Council Inc

Artists For Humanity

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence

Bikes Not Bombs

Bird Street Community Center

Boch Center

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Boston Dance Alliance Inc

Boston Debate League

Boston Harbor Now

Boston Landmarks Orchestra Inc

Boston Partners in Education

Boston Police Athletic League

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras Inc

Boys and Girls Club - Dorchester

Boys and Girls Club - Mattapan

Boys and Girls Club - West End House

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston - Yawkey Club

Breakthrough Greater Boston Inc


Camp Harbor View

Catholic Charities - St Peter's Teen Center

Codman Square Health Center

College Bound Dorchester

Community Rowing Inc

Courageous Sailing Center for Youth Inc

Crossroads for Kids

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Inc

Federation For Children With Special Needs Inc

Foundation For Boston Centers For Youth & Families Inc

Freedom House

Future Chefs

Handel and Haydn Society

Hawthorne Youth and Community Center

Hyde Square Task Force

Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion

Leap Self-Defense Inc

Madison Park Development Corporation

Mass Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health


Museum of African American History

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Science

New England Aquarium

Partners for Youth with Disabilities

Phillips Brook House Association

Reimagine Play

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Sociedad Latina

South Boston Community Health Center

South Boston Neighborhood House Inc

South End Technology Center

Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center

St Peter Academy Inc

St. Mary's Center for Women and Children

Student Athletes Rising

Summer Search

The Center for Teen Empowerment

The Dimock Center

University of Massachusetts Boston

Youth Design Inc

Youth Enrichment Services

YouthBuild Boston