All children grow up in communities in which they are supported by mentors, have safe spaces to learn and recognize their worth and potential.
Bringing together, building together, better together.
Together with our community partners, we equip and empower student leaders in under-resourced communities through youth-focused programming in the form of mentorship, scholarship and community engagement.
We are committed to supporting students in Seattle/Tacoma, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Guam.
WHAT WE DO
Each fall, in each focus community, hundreds of students will receive custom backpacks filled with school supplies and other gifts. This program meets immediate needs for students and families in underserved communities by equipping students with supplies for the upcoming school year as well as establishing community support for student success.
To date, we’ve supplied over 2,500 students in Seattle/Tacoma, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Guam with filled backpacks. Our annual goal is 1,000 new backpacks distributed across the three communities.
Recipients: Boys & Girls Clubs South Puget Sound, D.L. Perez Elementary, Tyhee Elementary, Sheridan Elementary, First Creek Middle School, iLearn Academy, KIPP SoCal Pueblo Unido, Weigand Avenue Elementary
Banner Year Summer Mentorship Program
We believe that mentorship equals success in the lives of high school students.
The Banner Year Summer Mentorship Program is a six-week summer program in Tacoma, WA. Fifteen local high school students – both young men and women – will be selected to participate in the program through an application process. The cohort will meet twice a week to discuss identity, character, social justice and community engagement, as well as college and career goal-setting. The culminating component of the program is a student-led community outreach event which will take place in August.
Each year, selected program alumni will act as lead counselors. Returning home from college, alumni will be provided a stipend and and a local internship in their field of interest. These program counselors will guide and support the current cohort while receiving direct mentorship through their identified internship.
Curriculum includes: character development, social justice discussion and activism training, financial literacy, goal-setting and career and college prep including interview practice and career-mapping.
Application opens March 2022.
Ron & Vanessa Banner Scholars Program
Founded in 2020, the Ron & Vanessa Banner Scholarship Fund provides financial support and academic resources to high school students across America.
The fund’s mission is to empower high school student leaders in under-resourced communities with financial resources to support the pursuit of higher education.
Named in honor of Zach’s parents, who have both worked in education for over 25 years, the Ron & Vanessa Banner Scholarship Fund is committed to supporting college-bound students through tutoring, test preparation, college applications and tuition assistance. We believe that every student is capable of academic success when given ample resources and support. And we are dedicated to bridge the opportunity gap that exists for students in under-resourced communities.
Students are selected via an application process that includes a short essay, student profile and statement of intent.
Better Together Community Visits
Each offseason, Zach Banner is committed to hosting school and community visits in each focal community that present local students with mentors, guest speakers and empowering messages. Special guests include professional athletes, business leaders, musicians, chefs and more.
The primary goal of Better Together Community Visits is to provide local youth with role models who look like them. In line with our core value of being better together, we strive to make connections between people of influence and children in under-resourced communities.
THREE LOCATIONS, THREE GOALS
Tacoma. Los Angeles. Guam.
Who are we bringing?
All members of our communities. From students to mentors, coaches to doctors, business leaders to faith leaders. Together, in celebration of our differences and unique gifts, working to dismantle oppression, to lead with love and to create better futures for the next generation of students.
What are we building?
Better futures and stronger communities for students to grow and thrive in. Communities filled with hopeful, engaged and empowered young leaders who are supported by committed and empathetic adults.
How are we better?
By directly supporting and uplifting student leaders in under-resourced communities through mentorship programs, scholarship and community engagement, we help shape a generation of young people who are change makers with choice.