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John Hancock Commits $1M to Fund 630 Summer Jobs for Boston Teens; Announces 2019 MLK Scholars Nonprofit Partners

  • Initial EVERFI Survey Impact Data Shows Majority of Youth Have Five Year Goal to Avoid Taking On New Debt    
January 23, 2019


BOSTON – John Hancock announced today that it is awarding over $1 million in grants through its MLK Scholars program to provide 630 Boston teens with paid summer jobs and leadership development opportunities at 58 nonprofit organizations. The annual million-dollar program, marking its 12th consecutive year, is a cross-sector collaboration led by John Hancock in partnership with Boston University, The Boston Globe, Partners HealthCare, and the City of Boston. 


Boston students spend the summer working at non-profit agencies across the city, gaining valuable work skills and engaging on issues that affect their community. In addition to the work experience, all scholars complete an online financial education program and attend in-person leadership development forums at Boston University. The nonprofits receive direct funding from John Hancock to pay each MLK Scholar a summer salary.


“John Hancock is committed to fostering healthier, more equitable communities, especially in our hometown of Boston,” said Thomas Crohan, assistant vice president and counsel, John Hancock Corporate Responsibility & Government Relations. “Our MLK Scholars program helps empower young people to improve their overall well-being by gaining important career readiness and financial capability, building positive relationships, and supporting good decision-making.”


“Engaging our teens with financial education, valuable work experience, and interactions with leaders from around Boston not only helps them grow but is an investment in our City that will be evident for years to come,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I applaud programs like John Hancock MLK Scholars as they truly make a difference in our students’ lives.”


In 2018, John Hancock expanded its partnership with leading educational technology innovator EVERFI to extend its digital financial education trainings to teens who participate in other summer jobs programs in Boston. As part of this three-year initiative, EVERFI is conducting a longitudinal study and releases impact data each year. 2018 findings[1] reveal participating students experience higher levels of preparedness for financial tasks and confidence in practicing healthy financial habits, compared to Massachusetts teens not in the summer program. The survey also revealed the top goal for participants is to avoid taking on new debt with 60 percent making it a financial goal for the next five years.


"Financial knowledge and decision-making skills are key building blocks of sustainable financial well-being,” said Meg Moyer, vice president, Research & Evaluation, EVERFI, Inc.


“By providing young adults with both education and opportunities to make real financial decisions with their own paychecks, John Hancock supports the development of both knowledge and skills. In our research, we saw that MLK Scholars participants were more likely than their peers to say they felt prepared to manage a budget, understand credit, and finance higher education -- all important financial skills they are now putting into practice."


The local non-profit organizations receiving MLK Scholars grants for 2019 are:

  • Archdale Community Center Council, Inc.
  • Artists For Humanity, Inc.
  • Bikes Not Bombs, Inc.
  • Bird Street Community Center
  • Boch Center
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Boston Dance Alliance Inc.
  • Boston Debate League
  • Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Inc.
  • Boston Partners in Education
  • Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester
  • Boys and Girls Club - West End House
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston – Mattapan Teen Center
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston – Yawkey Club of Roxbury
  • Breakthrough Greater Boston, Inc.
  • Businesses United In Investing Lending And Development (BUILD)
  • The Calculus Project, Inc.
  • Camp Harbor View Foundation
  • Catholic Charities - St. Peter's Teen Center
  • The Center For Teen Empowerment, Inc.
  • Codman Square Health Center
  • Community Rowing, Inc.
  • Courageous Sailing Center for Youth, Inc.
  • Crossroads for Kids
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • The Dimock Center
  • Future Chefs
  • Foundation For Boston Centers For Youth & Families, Inc
  • Freedom House, Inc.
  • Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership Corporation
  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion
  • Leap Self-Defense, Inc.
  • Madison Park Development Corporation
  • Massachusetts Coalition For Occupational Safety & Health, Inc.
  • Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS)
  • Museum of African American History
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Science
  • New England Aquarium
  • Partners for Youth with Disabilities
  • Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA)
  • Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, Inc.
  • Save The Harbor Save The Bay
  • Sociedad Latina, Inc.
  • South Boston Community Health Center
  • South Boston Leadership Initiative, Inc.
  • South Boston Neighborhood House, Inc.
  • South End Technology Center
  • Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center
  • St. Mary's Center for Women and Children
  • Summer Search
  • UMass Boston – Urban Scholars Program
  • Urban Farming Institute Of Boston
  • Youth Enrichment Services, Inc.
  • YouthBuild Boston
  • Zumix, Inc.


MLK Scholars is believed to be the largest, most comprehensive, corporate-based summer jobs program of its kind in the nation. For more information regarding John Hancock’s MLK Scholars Program, visit MLK Scholars.



EVERFI, Inc. is the education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.  Learn more at


About John Hancock and Manulife

John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over CAD$1.1 trillion (US$863 billion) as of September 30, 2018. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at


One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

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Ana Senior

John Hancock Public Relations



[1] EVERFI’s 2018 research summarizes the findings from more than 450 youth who responded to surveys between July 2 and August 27, 2018. Where possible, comparisons are made to state and national samples of learners participating in EVERFI’s financial education course for high school students. All comparisons are drawn from responses collected before students began an EVERFI financial education course.


“John Hancock as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has recruited the world’s best runners to race on this historic course for over three decades,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “This year we welcome back 16 returning champions to challenge an accomplished international field of Olympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors winners. We recognize the commitment and hard work it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport and look forward to another compelling race in Boston.


“Each year, a collection of the world’s best runners descends on the start in Hopkinton with the goal of becoming Boston Marathon champion,” said B.A.A. CEO Tom Grilk. “John Hancock has once again assembled an Elite Team that will ensure a fiercely competitive race. From decorated champions to Olympians, Paralympians and national record holders, we are excited to watch another chapter of Boston Marathon history unfold on Patriots’ Day.”


Men’s Field Summary

The field’s success in strategic and tactical championship style racing will prove critical as they run the world’s most historic marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston.


Leading a formidable field of 29 elite open men are: 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan; 2017 Boston and 2017 IAAF World Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya; two-time Boston champion and 2018 TCS New York City Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia; 2016 Boston victor Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia; and 2012 Boston champion Wesley Korir of Kenya.


Chasing the champions are 2:04 marathoners Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, a two-time Amsterdam, two-time Honolulu, Seville and Prague champion; Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia, winner of Carpi, Warsaw, Vienna, Frankfurt and Ljubljana; and Solomon Deksisa of Ethiopia, winner of Mumbai and Hamburg.


The Japanese pair of Hiroto Inoue and Hayato Sonoda also join the team. Inoue won the 2018 Asian Games Marathon and Sonoda was runner up in Beppu-Oita last year.


From Eritrea, 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist and 2016 TCS New York City champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie will be in contention as will countryman Zersenay Tadese, a four-time Olympian, former world record holder in the half marathon and winner of six World Championships titles.


The previously announced American team includes third place finisher last year, Shadrack Biwott; Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman, and Jared Ward; as well as Jeffery Eggleston, Elkanah Kibet, Timothy Ritchie, Scott Fauble, Aaron Braun and Brian Shrader.


Among those making their Boston debuts are several men who ran their personal best times in 2018: Rotterdam winner Kenneth Kipkemoi of Kenya; two-time Toronto champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya; and Beirut winner Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco.


Also joining the international field is British Olympian Scott Overall and 2:06 Kenyan marathoners Felix Kandie, the Athens and Prague champion; Festus Talam, a two-time Eindhoven winner; and Philemon Rono, a two-time Toronto champion.


In the men’s wheelchair division, previously announced defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland looks to earn his fifth wheelchair title and is part of a stellar international field featuring 10-time winner Ernst van Dyk of South Africa. In his 19 Boston appearances, van Dyk has placed on the podium all but two times, including ten wins, five runner-ups, and a pair of third place finishes.


Joining Hug and van Dyk are fellow Boston winners Masazumi Soejima and Hiroyuki Yamamoto (both from Japan) as well as former course record holder Joshua Cassidy (Canada). British stars David Weir and Johnboy Smith; Japan’s Hiroki Nishida, Ryota Yoshida, and Kota Hokinoue; Canada’s Tristan Smyth; and Ireland’s Patrick Monahan round out the international men’s field.


American men’s contenders Daniel Romanchuk, Joshua George, Aaron Pike, James Senbeta, Krige Schabort, and Brian Siemann are all entered as well. Romanchuk won the 2018 TCS New York City and Bank of America Chicago Marathons.


Women’s Field Summary

On the women’s elite team, John Hancock has assembled an accomplished field of 22 elite open women, 11 of whom have personal best times under 2:23:00.

Leading the way is 2018 winner Desiree Linden of the United States; two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist, three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors series winner and 2017 Boston champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya; and 2012 Boston, Hamburg, Toronto, Torino and Singapore winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya.


Challenging the Boston champions are 2:19 Ethiopian marathoners Aselefech Mergia, a London champion and three-time winner of Dubai; Mare Dibaba, the 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion, Beijing and two-time Xiamen winner; and Worknesh Degefa, a Dubai champion.


Last year’s second and third place finishers, Sarah Sellers of the United States and Krista DuChene of Canada return to improve their positions. They join Olympic and World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000m, Sally Kipyego of the United States; and previously announced U.S. elites: Jordan Hasay, third at Boston in 2017; Sara Hall, 2017 national champion; Lindsay Flanagan; Becky Wade; and Sarah Crouch.


Joining them will be a trio of Ethiopians: two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, winner of Rotterdam and Frankfurt; Olympian Belaynesh Oljira, 2015 World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist; and Marta Megra, a Toronto champion.


Rounding out the field and new to the Boston course are Olympian Betsy Saina of Kenya, a Paris champion; Olympian Eva Vrabcova of the Czech Republic, the bronze medalist in the 2018 European Marathon Championships; Olympian Alyson Dixon of Great Britain; and making her marathon debut is Mary Wacera of Kenya, the World Championships Half Marathon silver medalist in 2014 and bronze medalist in 2016.


In the women’s wheelchair division, Manuela Schar of Switzerland returns to the scene of her course record and world best performance. Schar timed a blistering 1:28:17 from Hopkinton to Boston in 2017, becoming the first woman ever to dip under the 1:30 barrier in Boston. She’ll be joined on the starting line by compatriot Sandra Graf; Madison De Rozario and Eliza Ault-Connell of Australia; Margriet Van Den Broek of the Netherlands; Diane Roy of Canada; and Aline de Rocha of Brazil.


Five-time winner and defending champion Tatyana McFadden fronts the American charge, leading Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory, Arielle Rausin, Katrina Gerhard, and Michelle Wheeler.


2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Men's Open Field








Lawrence Cherono


2:04:06 (Amsterdam, 2018)


Yuki Kawauchi


2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)

Sisay Lemma


2:04:08 (Dubai, 2018)


Zersenay Tadese


2:08:46 (Berlin, 2018)

Lemi Berhanu


2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)


Abdi Abdirahman


2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)

Solomon Deksisa


2:04:40 (Amsterdam, 2018)


Mohamed Reda


2:09:16 (Chicago, 2018)

Lelisa Desisa


2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)


El Aaraby

Kenneth Kipkemoi


2:05:44 (Rotterdam, 2018)


Hayato Sonoda


2:09:34 (Oita, 2018)

Felix Kandie


2:06:03 (Seoul, 2017)


Scott Overall

Great Britain

2:10:55 (Berlin, 2011)

Geoffrey Kirui


2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)


Jeffrey Eggleston


2:10:52 (Gold Coast, 2014)

Festus Talam


2:06:13 (Eindhoven, 2017)


Jared Ward


2:11:30 (Rio de Janeiro, 2016)

Wesley Korir


2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)


Elkanah Kibet


2:11:31 (Chicago, 2015)

Philemon Rono


2:06:52 (Toronto, 2017)


Timothy Ritchie


2:11:56 (Sacramento, 2017)

Hiroto Inoue


2:06:54 (Tokyo, 2018)


Shadrack Biwott


2:12:01 (New York City, 2016)

Benson Kipruto


2:07:11 (Seoul, 2018)


Scott Fauble


2:12:28 (New York City, 2018)

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie


2:07:46 (London, 2016)


Aaron Braun


2:12:54 (Houston, 2015)

Dathan Ritzenhein


2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)


Brian Shrader


2:13:31 (Sacramento, 2018)



2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Women's Open Field




Aselefech Mergia


2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012)

Edna Kiplagat


2:19:50 (London, 2012)

Mare Dibaba


2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)

Worknesh Degefa


2:19:53 (Dubai, 2018)

Meskerem Assefa


2:20:36 (Frankfurt, 2018)

Jordan Hasay


2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)

Belaynesh Oljira


2:21:53 (Frankfurt, 2018)

Sharon Cherop


2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)

Desiree Linden


2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)

Marta Megra


2:22:35 (Toronto, 2018)

Betsy Saina


2:22:56 (Paris, 2018)

Caroline Rotich


2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)

Sara Hall


2:26:20 (Ottawa, 2018)

Eva Vrabcova

Czech Republic

2:26:31 (Berlin, 2018) NR

Sally Kipyego


2:28:01 (New York City, 2016)

Krista Duchene


2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)

Alyson Dixon

Great Britain

2:29:06 (London, 2017)

Lindsay Flanagan


2:29:25 (Frankfurt, 2018)

Becky Wade


2:30:41 (Sacramento, 2013)

Sarah Crouch


2:32:27 (Chicago, 2018)

Sarah Sellers


2:36:37 (New York City, 2018)

Mary Wacera


66:29 (Houston, 2016)


2019 Boston Marathon Elite Men's Wheelchair Field

Marcel Hug


1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)

Ernst van Dyk

South Africa

1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)

Josh Cassidy


1:18:25 (Boston, 2012)

Masazumi Soejima


1:18:50 (Boston, 2011)

Hiroyuki Yamamoto


1:19:32 (Boston, 2017)

Hiroki Nishida


1:20:28 (Boston, 2017)

Kota Hokinoue


1:20:54 (Seoul, 2013)

Joshua George


1:21:47 (Boston, 2017)

Aaron Pike


1:22:09 (Boston, 2017)

Ryota Yoshida


1:23:18 (Boston, 2017)

Krige Schabort


1:23:44 (Boston, 2012)

James Senbeta


1:24:27 (Boston, 2017)

David Weir

Great Britain

1:26:17 (Boston, 2016)

Daniel Romanchuk


1:26:26 (Boston, 2017)

Brian Siemann


1:26:46 (Boston, 2017)

Patrick Monahan


1:29:10 (Seoul, 2017)

Johnboy Smith

Great Britain

1:29:44 (Berlin, 2018)

Tristan Smyth


1:29:53 (Berlin, 2018)



2019 Boston Marathon Elite Women's Wheelchair Field

Manuela Schar


1:28:17 (Boston, 2017)

Amanda McGrory


1:33:13 (Boston, 2017)

Susannah Scaroni


1:33:17 (Boston, 2017)

Tatyana McFadden


1:35:05 (Boston, 2017)

Sandra Graf


1:35:44 (Padua, 2008)

Margriet Van Den Broek


1:38:33 (Boston, 2017)

Madison De Rozario


1:39:22 (Chicago, 2017)

Katrina Gerhard


1:40:34 (Boston, 2017)

Diane Roy


1:40:37 (Beijing, 2008)

Arielle Rausin


1:41:26 (Boston, 2017)

Aline de Rocha


1:41:40 (Duluth, 16)

Eliza Ault-Connell


1:44:13 (Gold Coast, 2018)

Michelle Wheeler


1:45:22 (Oita, 2018)


The 2019 Boston Marathon marks the 34th year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. For additional information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit or follow us @jhboston26 and @johnhancockUSA on Twitter.


About John Hancock and Manulife 

John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over CAD$1.1 trillion (US$863 billion) as of September 30, 2018. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at


One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

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