Presented by Bank of America
Sunday, October 10, marks the 43rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a time-honored tradition known for its field of elite runners, deeply supportive spectators, and fundraising impact on Chicago’s nonprofit community.
Over the years, however, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has grown to represent even more; marathon weekend is a celebration of the city of Chicago, of its cultural diversity, vibrant neighborhoods, and the resilience that defines its residents.
For more than 160 years, Bank of America has created and nurtured partnerships across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build a stronger, more equitable Chicago. This Sunday, several of those partnerships converge as the city gets ‘up and running’ again, rebounding from the challenges of the past 18 months.
In alignment with its five-year, $1.25-billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, Bank of America recently convened nonprofit partners and sports organizations, including MLB, NFL teams, and the Chicago Marathon, to level the playing field by connecting young people – predominantly from communities of color – to meaningful job, skills-building, networking, and mentorship opportunities.
Those efforts are underway across the country. Here in Chicago, Bank of America has teamed up with After School Matters and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to provide four local student athletes with internship and skills-building opportunities at the brand-new Indoor Track and Field Center at Gately Park.
As part of the summer internship, student interns worked alongside facility professionals, learning about event and facilities management, coaching youth on the fundamentals of track and field, and working with athletes to prepare for competitions.
They also had the opportunity to spend time with Carey Pinkowski, renowned Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Carey shared insights on what it’s like to lead one of Chicago’s most iconic events and offered tips on key skills needed to set them apart in their future careers. Carey has always been passionate about helping the Chicago community grow and thrive, and the opportunity to mentor students from After School Matters proved to be the perfect fit.
“I was a very fortunate recipient of great mentors, coaches, teachers and advisors,” said Carey. “To give back and be part of this will affect these young men in a very positive way.”
Since 2010, Bank of America has funded 20,000 jobs for youth across the country through partnerships like the one with After School Matters. Those opportunities make a difference, according to Jaylen J., a 16-year-old intern from Greater Grand Crossing.
“I learned management and leadership skills through this internship by working with younger kids to teach them about track and field,” said Jaylen. “I can apply what I learned to my work in school and my future job. This internship also helped me deal with anxiety and depression I experienced because of the pandemic because I was able to work with my peers in person.”
Bank of America’s partnership with After School Matters dates back to 2002, and the company is proud to continue its support through grants, volunteering and representation on its board of directors. Since 2016, After School Matters has been an official charity partner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, with 68 athletes raising close to $80,000 for the organization. This year, two dozen runners with TEAM After School Matters have already raised nearly $35,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission to provide life-changing opportunities for Chicago youth.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon kicks off Sunday, October 10, taking runners on a cultural and architectural tour of 29 vibrant neighborhoods across Chicago.