Answering the call to help others

Alexander Zhang spent his summer working at 2-1-1 San Diego, a resource center to help people in need of community, health and disaster services. He felt that the health-related work was a strong match for his interests. Last summer, through The Scripps Research Institute, he interned in a lab developing a vaccine for Dengue fever, and he intends to pursue a pre-med track at Columbia University. Over the past few months, Zhang has built on his experience and interest at 2-1-1, learning the ins and outs of a nonprofit and serving his community.

Zhang was selected to participate in the Bank of America Student Leaders® program. Through this nationwide initiative, participants gain a deeper understanding of how service and leadership sparks positive change in their communities by working a full-time paid internship at a local nonprofit.

I found that people from other states have a lot of different problems in their communities that I am not familiar with, things I’ve heard about but never known. To talk to someone who was familiar with those kinds of problems, that was really eye-opening.

Alexander Zhang
Student Leader

As part of the Student Leaders® program, Zhang also traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Bank of America’s Student Leadership Summit, where 200 Student Leaders from across the country attended seminars on the intersection of leadership, politics and nonprofits and worked on a service learning project.

Zhang and his fellow leaders even had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Susan Davis, from California’s 53rd congressional district.

Reflecting on the summit, Zhang said it was very meaningful to engage his fellow Student Leaders in a dialogue about their shared passion for community service and speak with those from a diversity of backgrounds. Student Leaders take away from this program a deeper understanding of how corporate, nonprofit and government collaboration revitalizes communities, having participated directly in that rewarding process.

“Being in San Diego, I feel sheltered from a lot of the problems others face, and like I’m living in a bubble,” Zhang told the Del Mar Times about his experience. “I found that people from other states have a lot of different problems in their communities that I am not familiar with, things I’ve heard about but never known. To talk to someone who was familiar with those kinds of problems, that was really eye-opening.”

12/8/2017

 

Open Location
Open How we're involved