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Patriots Richard Seymour, Chad Gifford of Fleet recognize 63 organizations at "Banking on Youth" Ral

Patriots Richard Seymour and Chad Gifford of Fleet recognized 63 organizations at a “Banking on Youth” rally on Friday.

$88,000 in Grants Awarded To Youth Development Organizations

BOSTON, MA, June 20, 2003 – In honoring outstanding commitment to enhancing youth development and learning in out-of-school time, Richard Seymour, defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, today joined Chad Gifford, chairman and CEO of the FleetBoston Financial Corporation, Anne Finucane, executive vice president and chair of the FleetBoston Financial Foundation, and Gail Snowden, president of the FleetBoston Financial Foundation, to recognize over 60 charitable organizations (see attached listing) across Greater Boston at Fleet's Banking On Youth awards rally.

Banking On Youth is a program that empowers Fleet's branch managers and their teams to award a $1,000 grant to not-for-profit organizations in their communities. The focus of the program is to foster youth development and learning through initiatives that support after-school and summer programs, mentoring, literacy and tutoring, and leadership and life-skills training. A total of $88,000 in grants was awarded during a rally at Fleet's corporate headquarters in Boston.

"Now, more than ever, youth development and education programs that extend beyond the traditional school day are vitally important for building a successful and well-rounded career later in life," said Chad Gifford. "It is in our best interest to bring the resources from the private sector to organizations like the ones we are recognizing today to give our youth the best education possible, improve their quality of life, and inspire them to make their communities better places to live."

The Fleet Banking On Youth rally was also supported by Richard Seymour, defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, who surprised Fleet by contributing a $1,000 from his own foundation to one of the youth development organizations.

"It's great to see the Fleet branches teaming up to make an impact in their immediate community, and ultimately throughout Greater Boston," said Seymour. "Investing in kids always pays off."

The summer can be an anxious time for parents. Data from the Child Welfare League of America shows that the number of dual-income and single-parent families has increased, leaving parents searching for safe, affordable and enriching programs to fill out-of-school hours. According to research published by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation entitled, Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Education Success, there are direct links between out-of-school program participation and greater social engagement and higher academic performance among young people. Because youth spend only 20% of their time in school, the research concludes that how and where they spend the remaining 80% has profound implications for their well-being and their future.

"Structured out-of-school and summer programs pay enormous benefits for students, working families and communities," said Gail Snowden, president of the FleetBoston Financial Foundation. "We believe all children have the capacity to learn when placed in stimulating, nurturing environments and can achieve academic excellence when supported by a community structure both interested in their academic progress and general well being."

Also speaking at today's rally was Trystin Johnson, a senior at Marblehead High School, who spoke on behalf of Teens Against Gang Violence (T.A.G.V.), one of the organizations that received a Banking On Youth grant. The group has earmarked the grant dollars to support the organization's summer leadership program, which focuses on teen leadership development, community organizing, and justice promotion.

"I've seen the tremendous effect this program has on kids," said Johnson, who is a peer counselor at T.A.G.V. "Often kids start the program introverted and frightened. By the end of the summer, they are empowered and proud – proud of themselves and proud of what they can bring to their communities through peace and justice, not violence."

The Banking On Youth grants were made possible through contributions from Fleet Bank and the FleetBoston Financial Foundation, the largest corporate philanthropic organization in New England and among the largest grant makers in the nation. Over the last three years, the FleetBoston Financial Foundation has awarded approximately $80 million to charitable organizations across the Northeast, focusing its strategic philanthropy to promote economic opportunity, youth development, public education, and arts and culture.

"We believe that our corporate leadership through strategic philanthropy is a source of great pride for our customers, employees and community partners," said Anne Finucane, Executive Vice President and Chair of the FleetBoston Financial Foundation. "The Banking On Youth program reflects our continued commitment to giving back to the community."

About Fleet
FleetBoston Financial Corporation is the seventh-largest financial holding company in the United States, with assets of $200 billion. The company's principal businesses, Personal Financial Services and Commercial Financial Services, offer a comprehensive array of innovative financial solutions to 20 million customers. Through its Personal Financial Services franchise, Fleet offers retail banking, wealth management and investment services, nationwide brokerage, credit card and consumer lending services. These services are available through approximately 1,500 branches and more than 3,400 ATMs in the Northeast; through Fleet HomeLinkSM online banking, one of the nation's leading online banking platforms; and through telephone banking. Fleet is the leading small business services and commercial banking provider in the Northeast. Fleet's Commercial Financial Services Division provides commercial lending, syndications, capital raising and advisory, leasing, cash management, asset-based finance, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives to clients. FleetBoston Financial is headquartered in Boston and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FBF) and the Boston Stock Exchange (BSE: FBF).

About FleetBoston Financial Foundation
The FleetBoston Financial Foundation is the largest corporate philanthropic organization in New England and among the largest grant-makers in the nation. Through the FleetBoston Financial Foundation, the FleetBoston Financial Corporation demonstrates its strong civic leadership, community partnership and commitment to being a socially responsible corporate citizen by focusing its philanthropy to promote economic opportunity, youth development, public education, and arts and culture.

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