L.I.F.E Teen Expo
Feature written in September 2020
FHLB Des Moines Member: Bank of Guam
The island of Guam is home to distinct ethnic groups with unique, vibrant traditions and cultures. Cultivating a sense of inclusion and connectedness among youth is an ongoing challenge, yet the Bank of Guam was determined to support and commit to the next generation of leaders.
Part of the Bank's signature Corporate Social Responsibility mission is outreach to teens, particularly at-risk teens. In 2017, Bank leadership saw an opportunity to provide a safe, enriching environment for teens across the island to come together through the L.I.F.E Expo.
With that purpose, Bank of Guam reached out to the student community and asked them what resources they needed and required to complete high school successfully and prepare for life after graduation. In collaboration with the Bank, academic, nonprofit, corporate and military communities organized interactive displays and workshops to meet those needs.
Teens participate in financial literacy and education workshops, talent shows, organizational training, entrepreneurship classes, project management training, outreach opportunities and volunteering. They were also able to earn Service Learning Hours, which are required for graduation, and received hands-on experience marketing and budgeting for popup outlets, gaining valuable work experience and earning money from their product sales.
L.I.F.E Expo is the only teen outreach program encompassing all of Guam. Over 4,000 teens and 200 volunteers participated in the 2019 expo, and the Bank of Guam continues to support teen programming and outreach. The level of participation and excitement with this often difficult-to-reach demographic further reinforces the continued need for this type of commitment and programming in the island community.