Citizens looking to assist summer youth workforce program

Champions in Action program will award 1 nonprofit $35K as well as public relations, promotional support

Students enrolled in the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science Summer STEM experience examine shells along Ocean County’s beaches. ­— Ocean County Vocational Technical School

Do you run a youth summer workforce program that needs a little extra funding? Citizens Bank may be an answer.

Citizens is now accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for the Champions in Action program in the category of Youth Summer Workforce Programming. The winner will receive:

  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens;
  • Volunteer support from Citizens colleagues;
  • Public relations and promotional support.

Nonprofit organizations or partnerships that provide summer jobs or training for local youth are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for consideration, an organization must:

  • Be a New Jersey- or New York City-based nonprofit organization that addresses the designated topic area;
  • Provide verification of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • Have a total operating budget between $2 million and $5 million.

Applications can be completed here — and please note the deadline has been extended to March 9 (which may be different than how it appears on the webpage).

Citizens created the Champions in Action program in 2002 to address the unique social challenges faced by communities its serves. The initiative rewards established nonprofit organizations, to help them reach the next level.

The Champions in Action program has awarded more than $10 million in contributions and promotional support to more than 370 nonprofits across the bank’s footprint.

Citizens completed the acquisition of HSBC’s East Coast branches in 2022, including 66 locations in the New York City metro area, as well as the acquisition of Investors Bancorp Inc., with the addition of more than 200 branches located in the greater New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas and across New Jersey.

These acquisitions significantly improved Citizens’ physical presence in the region, as well as its potential for delivering impactful community initiatives. With that, Citizens has announced the expansion of its signature Champions in Action program to include the New York metro and New Jersey markets.

Rebecca O’Connell, the NYC Metro market executive for Citizens, said her team is eager to help.

“We couldn’t be more excited to expand our Champions in Action program to New York City and New Jersey, and look forward to interacting with the incredible nonprofit organizations making an impact in their communities,” she said.

“This topic, focused on developing the workforce of the future is critical, and we’re looking to shine a light on organizations that support local youth with the tools and resources they need to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the region both today and going forward.”

The Champions in Action award will be presented to an organization whose summer jobs programming enriches the lives of youth by teaching durable skills they will need in the workplace. These efforts should demonstrate how the program helps create a viable workforce that can support current and future business and industry needs. Citizens is looking for organizations that have existing programs with a demonstrated history of success and measurement.

Organizations applying for the award should include metrics around the achievements of their program individually, or if through collaboration with another partner(s), the lead nonprofit should apply.