PROVIDENCE – City resident Mark Cousineau, senior client manager and vice president for business banking at Bank of America, received the Mentor of the Year Award at the Year Up Graduation on Jan. 29.
Cousineau has served as a mentor to Euclides Arocho, a member of Year Up Providence’s 17th graduating class. Euclides sees Cousineau at least two to three times a week, meeting for lunch, going kickboxing or just meeting up to chat.
“I have had a lot of people claim that they will be there for me, and they have failed to follow through,” Euclides said when he presented the Mentor of the Year award to Cousineau. “Mark is more than a mentor to me. He has been someone I can count on, someone I could look up to and that caring, yet firm presence when I needed to get back on track.”
Year Up is an intensive one-year workforce development program, and has been operating in Providence since 2005. At the classroom/training facility, students take college classes to develop technical and professional skills, and then complete a six-month corporate internship. Each student is assigned a mentor during the program to serve as a professional role model to the students.
The goal of the mentors is to provide additional support during the challenging transition to Year Up and full time career and continued education.
Cousineau’s volunteerism is an example of the broader partnership between Bank of America and Year Up, one that brings financial and volunteer support to the organization’s work with area youth. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has supported Year Up since 2004, providing more than $2.3 million in support around local growth, national expansion, and capacity building.
Locally, Bank of America in Rhode Island has consistently supported Year-Up with $30,000 grants the past several years, and in 2007, Year Up was named a Bank of America Neighborhood Builder, which includes a $200,000 unrestricted grant and leadership training.