Stories

When the Army called, Rabiu Ahmad traded banking for respiratory therapy

December 28, 2020

Ahmad is among a number of U.S. Bank employees who have helped the country respond to COVID-19.

When COVID-19 arrived in the United States, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation employee and U.S. Army Reserve member Rabiu Ahmad dusted off his books from respiratory therapy training in 2015.  

“I chose respiratory therapy [as a reservist] because I knew we would need it someday,” he said.  

Continuing, “But I couldn’t have imagined this.” 

When Ahmad got the call for deployment in March, he messaged his manager to coordinate backup and within days was on his way to Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, which was overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.  

“At that time, everything I’d heard about COVID was in the media,” he said. “And then all of a sudden we were there and I was seeing the reality of a pandemic that had seemed very far away.” 

Ahmad spent three months serving at the hospital, working in lockstep with doctors and other healthcare workers. He spent that time on day and night shifts applying treatments to patients – many of whom were unconscious battling the virus – and monitoring life-saving equipment such as ventilators.  

The work was quite a diversion from his civilian role as a syndication fund manager at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the St. Louis-based community investment and tax credit subsidiary of U.S. Bank that finances projects such as affordable housing, economic development, historic renovation and renewable energy. 

Of choosing to join USBCDC three years ago, Ahmad said, “There’s a ‘double bottom line’ in that we’re able to make money while improving the lives of people,” then adding with a smile, “which are two things I like doing.” 

Ahmad was born in Nigeria and completed a bachelor’s degree in economics at American University of Nigeria before immigrating to the United States and completing a master’s degree in finance at Webster University. He was driven to enlist in the Army Reserve in 2015.  

At U.S. Bank, which was recently named by Military Times as the No. 3 employer for veterans in the United States, we have a longstanding commitment to supporting veterans and military service members. During Ahmad’s deployment, his team at USBCDC sent a care package to the hospital for his entire unit.  

“I’ve actually missed going to the office this year,” said Ahmad, speaking of the workplace culture more so than the building itself. “We have a group of really smart people working together to build something good and, with that, there’s a fearlessness to both try new things and to do the right thing.” 

That’s of course a different kind of fearlessness than confronting a global pandemic, quite literally, face to face. Before returning to his civilian role, Ahmad and fellow service members were asked to march through the hallways in military uniform so that hospital staff could thank them for their contributions.  

Ahmad said that he stepped out of the hospital door with a new perspective. Life is more precious. Relationships are more important. Empathy comes more naturally. With the holiday season approaching, he reflected. 

“If you have the capacity to be strong for others during a hard time, then that’s a gift you can give.” 

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U.S. Bank activates ATM network across the country to accept donations to the American Red Cross, donates $25,000 to foundation supporting Boulder Valley School District.

Pitching in to help tornado-hit Kentucky

Employees’ agility, compassion and volunteerism make a huge impact.

An unexpected mission for a banker and National Guard member

Nas Iqbal is deployed in Kuwait and was sent to support the emergency evacuation in Afghanistan.

Finding a personal passion to #GiveTime to the community

U.S. Bank employees share impact of their involvement with Home Start in San Diego.

Responding to tornadoes across our communities

U.S. Bank sends our mobile banking unit to impacted area, and activates our ATM network across the country to accept donations to the American Red Cross.

Kutak Rock receives 2021 “Invested in Diversity” award from U.S. Bank

The firm is the third recipient of the annual award, which recognizes one of the Law Division’s preferred law firms for advancing diversity in the legal profession.

Helping first-time buyers with the ‘miracle’ of homeownership

U.S. Bank has a longstanding relationship with Phoenix-based Trellis, including providing down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.

U.S. Bank to donate Minneapolis branch to Seward Redesign for redevelopment

The 2800 E. Lake Street property will be redeveloped for housing, commercial and outdoor retail use and arts and cultural spaces.

U.S. Bank announces $150,000 grant to African-American Credit Union Coalition

Support of minority depository institutions is part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to help close the racial wealth gap.

U.S. Bank partnering with VolunteerMatch for GivingTuesday

Campaign encourages everyone to take some time to give back on Nov. 30.

Watch: Operation Always Remember

U.S. Bank revisits veteran recipients of previous home, car and home repair donations with care packages worth up to $5,000.

U.S. Bank sets goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

The company also sets goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and sets an environmental finance goal of $50 billion by 2030.

Survey: Black Americans committed to helping families, communities financially

Importance of helping local community, leaving a lasting legacy shine through in survey responses from financially comfortable Black consumers.

Building Black Wealth Q&A with Gunjan Kedia and Greg Cunningham

Kedia, Vice Chair, Wealth Management and Investment Services, and Cunningham, Chief Diversity Officer, discuss the results, what surprised them and what U.S. Bank plans to do with the results.

Sacramento raises the bar for U.S. Bank employee giving campaign

Market with less than 350 employees volunteers 1,200 hours during annual companywide campaign to provide direct support to nonprofits.

U.S. Bank salutes Workshops for Warriors

Innovative program helps rebuild American manufacturing and the lives of veterans

U.S. Bank Law Division recognized for diversity and inclusion leadership

The department’s initiatives to advance equal access to justice and foster equity in the legal profession have received recent acclaim.

27-year-old aspiring teacher wins $20,000 scholarship from U.S. Bank

Tacoma, Wash., non-traditional college student Kimber Jones is a winner of the semiannual program.

U.S. Bank Recognized for Supporting Small Businesses

U.S. Bank honored by Small Business Administration Minnesota District and Colorado Governor.

Meet the artist who created our U.S. Bank Nuestra Herencia™ Visa® Debit Card

Flora Rees-Arredondo weaves culture and identity into her visual art, including her design for our new debit card.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund exists to help entrepreneurs like Joanna

The owner of a growing dessert catering business has received financing from U.S. Bank partner Grameen America.

Banker trades suits for black and white stripes during football season

U.S. Bank private wealth advisor Tyree Walton spends weekends officiating college football games.

How a big, blue bus launched our Community Possible grant program at U.S. Bank

Looking back on rolling out our first companywide giving platform with a nationwide relay five years ago.

U.S. Bank receives ‘Outstanding’ Community Reinvestment Act rating

Lending, Investment and Service tests also given “Outstanding” ratings.

U.S. Bank invests $1 million with NMAAHC

Five-year investment highlights our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

U.S. Bank helps Blue Shirts go green with new Best Buy Solar Field

Both based in Minnesota, U.S. Bank and Best Buy have a long history of working together.

U.S. Bank Good Truck delivers snacks, smiles and support across the country

We’re thanking healthcare workers and others who are helping their communities amid COVID-19.

U.S. Bank food truck changes directions to deliver groceries to those in need

In Arizona, the bank is helping a local food bank serve the community amid COVID-19.

U.S. Bank executive Mark Runkel makes a splash for the ripple effect

Mark Runkel is experiencing firsthand the long-term impact of Special Olympics and its Polar Plunge.

U.S. Bank celebrates expansion into Charlotte and its 26th state

The new branch featured a team of bankers and the latest technology.

U.S. Bank announces $1 million in grants to Black-led CDFIs

The announcement also includes additional support for African American Alliance.

U.S. Bank and Elementz give teens a beat to record on

How Cincinnati hip hop nonprofit Elementz is preparing youth artists for careers in music and more.

U.S. Bank achieves solar milestone with 10 gigawatts financed

Investments bring benefits to environment, communities.

Rural cities look to the sun for economic development

New solar project in Arkansas exemplifies trend in job creation and environmental sustainability.

Rising stars gear up for draft day with Elavon in Atlanta

U.S. Bank subsidiary Elavon partners with Year Up to provide job opportunities for low-income young adults.

U.S. Bank initiative with CDFIs will invest in developers of color

Grants to CDFIs will provide technical assistance to real estate developers of color.

U.S. Bank Foundation supports emerging leaders addressing economic disparities

The $1 million annual Market Impact Fund to support 20 organizations and their leaders.

Rocky Fong goes to great heights for the Seattle community

The U.S. Banker is a regular fixture of the nonprofit scene.

Cleantech entrepreneur Ciara May wants to recycle your hair

The Rebundle founder is $25,000 winner of the 2021 U.S. Bank Foundation Cleantech Inclusion Award.

U.S. Bank, Enterprise Community Partners announce innovative racial equity bond

The $30 million bond will support housing developers of color.

DOORWAYS expands housing and services for people living with HIV/AIDS

U.S. Bank provided an $8 million investment to help the nonprofit expand its impact in St. Louis.

This U.S. Banker created a new role teaching diverse youth about building wealth

Chris Taylor is channeling his passion and our core values to make a difference in his community.

Retired Air Force veteran lands in Nevada

U.S. Bank and Operation Homefront partnered to donate a mortgage-free home to Mark and Cynthia Porter.

Portland nonprofit celebrates views from different birds’ eyes

We supported dfrntpigeon through our $1 million annual fund that goes toward workforce development, arts and culture and affordable housing.

Paraquad brings a cook back into the kitchen

With support from U.S. Bank, the St. Louis nonprofit is helping Kevin Geekie realize his dream.

Oatmeal and raisin’ young leaders

This Minnesotan nonprofit’s cookies-with-a-cause will be a hot commodity for tourists braving the cold.

Nonprofits are casting a wide net for virtual volunteers amid pandemic

We’ve created a virtual employee volunteer network and adjusted its community giving programs.

New U.S. Bank Pullman Community Center was nine years in the making

We’ve invested more than $100 million in Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood since 2009.

New mural adorns branch that lives at intersection of Black history

U.S. Bank and our employees have long been a part of the historic Five Points neighborhood in Denver.

Minneapolis business owners take virtual stage at The Atlantic Festival 2020

The annual event put on by The Atlantic gathers leaders across industries to discuss consequential issues.

Meet the U.S. Banker who has volunteered 160 hours this year

U.S. Bank provides employees with paid time off to spend volunteering in their community.

Meet four veterans who received mortgage-free homes on Veterans Day

Bryan Schrader, Ed Hawk, Mark Bricker and Todd O’Neal share what the home donation means for their families.

Marine mom and young daughter accept keys to donated home

U.S. Bank and Freedom Alliance have partnered to donate 12 homes to wounded veterans in recent years.

Kevin Brown sees new opportunities in the old neighborhood

How one banker has overcome adversity and prospered thanks to a steady job and personal determination.

In Kansas City, tiny homes serve as model for solving veteran homelessness

We partner with organizations such as Veterans Community Project to provide housing for veterans in need.

In #SupportLocal, U.S. Bankers thank small businesses and first responders

Our branch employees are rallying around local partners amid business disruption caused by the pandemic.

How Lawrence Arts Center is helping youth learn the business side of art

Lawrence Arts Center is one of 20 inaugural grant recipients from the $1 million U.S. Bank Market Impact Fund.

How Lot, Stock & Barrel acted fast after Coachella was cancelled amid pandemic

The growing Los Angeles small business received support from PACE and U.S. Bank.

How a U.S. Bank employee created a new partnership with Junior Achievement

We continue to invest in the community as part of its expansion in Charlotte.

How a New Orleans neighborhood has reinvented itself since Katrina

Community input and creative financing has transformed Iberville public housing project into Bienville Basin.

How (and why) U.S. Banker Grant Evavold ran 136.5 miles in three days

The marketing campaign analyst and avid runner raised money for a nonprofit combatting human trafficking.

Home for the first of many holidays

U.S. Bank helped develop a financing structure that has made homeownership possible for thousands of people.

Girl Scouts anticipate new U.S. Bank Environmental Learning Lab

We donated $50,000 through our inaugural Market Impact Fund to make the project possible.

Get to know Hassan Salem, the new head of Commercial Banking at U.S. Bank

Based in Denver, the ski industry expert and theater fan leads a national team serving middle market clients.

For many arts nonprofits, the show must go online

U.S. Bank has provided $6 million in grants to help arts, culture and recreation nonprofits adapt amid COVID-19.

Five career tips that U.S. Bank executive Gunjan Kedia gave Girls With Impact

The nonprofit organization led by Jennifer Openshaw provides girls with business education similar to an MBA.

Fifty-year anniversary of Fair Housing Act hits home for Lenny McNeill

The U.S. Bank mortgage leader reflects on how its passage opened the door for his family.

Ferguson Empowerment Center opens in St. Louis

With U.S. Bank funding, the center is opening on the site of a convenience store burned down during 2014 unrest.

Fargo volunteers hit sandbag assembly lines to thwart potential floods

U.S. Bank employees used paid volunteer time off to lend a hand in their community.

Experts warn of financial scams targeting older adults during COVID-19

We recently hosted a webinar to help older adults and caregivers protect their finances.

New U.S. Bank branch celebrates Pride and previews the future of banking

The branch is located in the first officially recognized LGBTQ+ neighborhood in the United States.

U.S. Banker chosen from 151K as a top national volunteer with Junior Achievement

David Little is one of eight annual recipients of the nonprofit’s Gold Leadership Award.

Entrepreneur Eric Seals is growing Digifé with a focus on storytelling diversity

U.S. Bank recently donated $1 million to Chicago nonprofit CNIMFG to expand access to capital.

EnJunaya Canton quit a six-figure job to start fast-growing Zuhuri Beauty

U.S. Bank and nonprofit PACE have helped the business stay on track for growth as it has navigated COVID-19.

Elavon technology helps shape the future of iconic UK charity

The Royal British Legion is using cashless terminals to collect donations supporting service members and families.

For Cleveland nonprofit, education proves key to financial success

ESOP’s financial literacy program is helping people build up savings, reduce debt and improve credit.

Denver nonprofit introduces girls to 3-D printing

We donated $20,000 to create a new makerspace for Girls Inc.’s STEM program.

Community artwork continues on front porch of U.S. Bank in Charlotte

We are partnering with artists who helped create the Black Lives Matter street mural in uptown Charlotte.

Big Blue to the rescue

Washington bankers took mobile banking to the next level after a customer service emergency.

#TourPossible winner Whiskey Fever on becoming the guys on stage

Four good old-fashioned rock and rollers are taking their show on the road with $20,000 from U.S. Bank.

How three nonprofits are using U.S. Bank funding to support AAPI communities

Our tax credit equity investments are helping to build affordable housing, showcase cultural artwork and more.

U.S. Bank provides support to India during COVID-19 crisis

With funding and volunteer support, U.S. Bank looks to help those impacted in India.

U.S. Bank provides $450,000 investment in Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Our employees will provide on-site counsel and guidance on financial, payments, technology and innovation topics.

U.S. Bank pilots new financial wellness program with Operation HOPE

We’re partnering with the nonprofit organization for the pilot program in Denver and Chicago.

U.S. Bank to mentor minority-owned First Independence Bank in Detroit

We are joining the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service Mentor-Protégé Program.

Civil rights pioneer Leona Tate has big plans for redeveloped McDonogh 19

U.S. Bank invested $3.7 million to transform the building with a focus on historical education and anti-racism.

U.S. Bank continues arts support in Charlotte with jazz masterpiece

The performance honored North Carolina-born drummer and composer Max Roach.

Milwaukee developer Brandon Rule aims to help close the racial wealth gap

As part of broad commitment, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation is working to deepen relationships with Black developers.

U.S. Bank launches eco-friendly debit cards

The debit cards made with ROBP offer customers new way to show their love of the ocean and help the environment.

U.S. Bank announces sponsorship with PGA TOUR golfer Collin Morikawa

Morikawa is a Major Champion on the PGA TOUR.

This U.S. Bank branch on wheels brings new meaning to mobile banking

When disaster strikes, our Mobile Financial Center ensures customers have access to essential banking services.

The first U.S. Bank tax credit deal in Puerto Rico is helping fight COVID-19

Our $4.2 million NMTC investment helped a pharmaceutical manufacturer expand operations.

U.S. Bank establishes new sponsorship with the Kansas City Royals

U.S. Bank will become the presenting partner of the annual Salute to the Negro Leagues game.

U.S. Bank, Freedom Alliance team up to donate vehicle to Army hero

We donate vehicles to veterans in need through our Driven to Serve initiative.

Betsy Cadwallader focuses on ‘resilience and recovery’ in new leadership role

The regional Commercial Banking leader’s expanded portfolio at U.S. Bank spans from Pacific Northwest to the Rockies.

#StopAsianHate: U.S. Bank provides additional support to AAPI organizations

The U.S. Bank Foundation grants were distributed to AAPI organizations across the country.

U.S. Bank taps local artist Jonesy for mural at branch in Cincinnati

We have a long history of community development and engagement in the neighborhood.

U.S. Bank to help Cincinnati girls earn new Girl Scout cybersecurity badge

The bank is partnering with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to provide hands-on training at its Cyber Defense Center.

U.S. Bank, Chicago Booth and CNI announce findings of new case study

The place-based investment approach continues with $1 million in grants to 40 small businesses on South and West Sides of Chicago.

U.S. Bank commits $116 million to address social and economic inequities

We’re also rebuilding in our hometown Minneapolis to continue to support customers.

San Diego apartments welcome LGBTQ seniors

Terry Vaughn and others have found their home at a new apartment community funded by U.S. Bank.

USBCDC finances $50 million in capital to CDFIs amid pandemic

The seven CDFIs receiving capital are across the country.

Volunteer firefighter Adam Chinnock moonlights as a banker

U.S. Bank Fraud Risk Analyst Adam Chinnock has volunteered more than 230 hours as a firefighter this year.

Water purification startup wins inaugural U.S. Bank Cleantech Inclusion Award

The program supports female and minority entrepreneurs driving innovation in environmental sustainability.

When the Army called, Rabiu Ahmad traded banking for respiratory therapy

Ahmad is among a number of U.S. Bank employees who have helped the country respond to COVID-19.

Introducing U.S. Bank Access Commitment

It is a series of initiatives across the business to increase wealth building opportunities, starting with the Black community.

Bankers and ballers team up to honor veteran

U.S. Bank, Freedom Alliance and the Minnesota Timberwolves partnered to give back to U.S. Army veteran Sean Pearson.

Aspiring nurse lands $10K scholarship from U.S. Bank as dad battled COVID-19

Minnesota high school student Addison Gray is a winner of the semiannual sweepstakes program.

A message from U.S. Bank Chairman, President and CEO Andy Cecere

Our top priority is to keep people safe.

A message from Chief Social Responsibility Officer Reba Dominski

At U.S. Bank, we are working to respond quickly to the needs of our employees, customers and communities.

A feat of strength by neighborhood superhero Georgia Keith

This longtime Cincinnati resident’s efforts to clean up her block has had a ripple effect on the community.

10 years and 5 kids later, Josip Belavic went back to school

The Lewis-Clark State College student is the recipient of an annual financial education scholarship from U.S. Bank.

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