There is a major opportunity to create, nurture and promote a pipeline of diverse talent in Financial Services. As we tackle this, it is critical that we meaningfully address challenges that exist in communities of color around economic empowerment and financial literacy.
John Hancock invests $1 million annually into providing summer jobs to over 600 Boston-area youth at nearly 60 nonprofits throughout in the city. This partnership between John Hancock, the City of Boston, The Boston Globe, Partners Healthcare, and Boston University is one of the largest public/private summer jobs program of its kind in the country. John Hancock's MLK Scholars program, built on the inspirational values and legacy of its namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addresses what is deemed a critical need in Boston - summer jobs for city youth.
We empower MLK Scholars to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to achieve financial security. John Hancock’s MLK Scholars program offers summer work experience and personal development opportunities to Boston teens. In 2019, 650 Scholars were employed at 58 nonprofit sites and John Hancock. In addition to meaningful employment, Scholars also attend Leadership Forums at Boston University on topics such as networking and civic engagement and receive online financial literacy training. Since 2013, John Hancock has integrated digital financial education into the Leadership Forums, which all Scholars complete, via a partnership with EVERFI. Scholars are provided access to EVERFI’s financial literacy platform that provides basic knowledge to help them manage their financial lives and achieve future-oriented goals. John Hancock continues to expand access to EVERFI, allowing Boston students from all summer jobs programs to participate in the curriculum.
The MLK Scholars Program, and the equitable access to economic empowerment it creates, provides immediate value to Boston businesses and communities. Boston’s employers are strengthened by hiring from a pipeline of diverse, prepared young people. Boston’s communities benefit from the city-wide convenings that break down neighborhood silos and promote positive connections and understanding. Additionally, increased investments in our not-for-profit network and public conversation surrounding youth and neighborhood investments serves to promote positive changes in public policy. As part of our commitment to prepare the next generation of employees, John Hancock hires MLK Scholars to work within our teams, providing valuable work experience to a Boston teenager, while also developing leadership and people management skills for the employees involved.
Since the program’s inception, we have invested over $12 million dollars to provide jobs and professional development opportunities to over 5,000 youth.
We need to level the playing field for young people who don’t have equal access to the work experiences and networks we know are critical to building long-term skills, self-confidence and financial empowerment. A goal at John Hancock is to create a healthier, more equitable Boston and the MLK Scholars program is designed to help make that vision a reality. Thank you to all of our partners for making this work possible.