Student Leaders gain perspective to improve local communities at 2019 summit

In July, we gathered 283 high school students in Washington, D.C., for discussions on economic mobility, social justice, and civic engagement.

More than 90 members of Congress; 5,000 Red Cross relief kits; five national monuments; 283 student leaders. These are just some of the numbers that defined the 2019 Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., but each year, the real impact of the summit is felt when the Student Leaders return home to their own communities to help foster positive change.

Since 2004, through our Student Leaders program , we’ve worked with nearly 3,500 high school students to help them develop workforce and leadership skills as part of our broader commitment to connect youth and young adults to training and jobs that will help them chart a path for success within the communities we serve.

In honor of the 15th year of the program, we have expanded Student Leaders to even more communities making this year a record for the largest group of students ever in the program. This year, 283 students were offered paid internships at a local nonprofit and invited to attend a leadership summit in Washington, D.C.

One of the goals of the summit is to provide the students with perspective on how the private sector, government and nonprofits work together to create positive change. This year’s topics included how to build a more inclusive society, empathizing with the struggles of low and moderate income communities, and the importance of financial literacy through Better Money Habits®. Read about some highlights below.

CEO and Chairman Brian Moynihan and Dimitri Rodriguez, a Student Leader alumnus now employed at the bank, discussed how these young leaders can continue to make an impact regardless of their career choices.

A panel focused on social justice and second chances included speakers such as Nicholas Turner, the president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice.

Participants attended a private tour of the Americans and the Holocaust exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Museum Director Sara Bloomfield, retired President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson, and our Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Andrew Plepler discussed the importance of understanding history to better understand the present and social solidarity in America.

During the summit, the students gained a new understanding of what it means to serve others and to stand as leaders within their own communities. Afterward, they returned to their nonprofit internships better equipped to lead and make change within their organizations using the skills they learned during this extraordinary week.

Student Leader, Chase Magnano, shares his thoughts on the program.

“There is such beauty to this program we are doing. To come together with over 280 students who have all gone through the same process to get into the program has been both incredible and humbling. Every person you meet is inspiring and they make me want to become better. If everyone was like this- and I am sure every person has it in them- the world would be a better place and that makes me excited for tomorrow.” – Chase Magnano, 2019 Student Leader


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