Where are they now?

In honor of our Student Leaders program’s 15th year, we spoke with a few Student Leader alums to see what they are up to now and to find out how the program still impacts them years later.

Since 2004, Bank of America has recognized thousands of students through the Student Leaders program - giving them the tools and experience they need to enter the workforce as civic-minded leaders. To help celebrate this milestone, we took a look at what two of our Student Leader alums are doing now and listen as they reflect on their experience in the program years later.

Dimitri Rodriguez, a 2009 Student Leader alum from New York, currently works on the Financial Crimes and Compliance team here at Bank of America where he is passionate about serving clients and protecting the bank’s reputation.

What inspired you to become a student leader?

The summer before college, I was looking for internships and jobs in the city, but I really didn’t like what I was doing. I wanted to find a way to do something new and different that I could get something out of. In my search for this kind of opportunity, I came across the Student Leaders program. I applied on whim, not really expecting much: so when I was accepted to the program, I was so excited about the development and leadership opportunity and I saw it as a chance to develop and learn more about my skill set.

I would like the power to enhance the experience and lives of the people around me using the skills I have. I now know that I have a lot to offer and I want to use it for the good of others.

Dimitri Rodriguez
Student Leader Alumni

What have you done since your experience as a Student Leader? What are you doing now?

Two weeks after finishing my internship as a Student Leader, I went to study abroad in Florence for a semester. It was an amazing opportunity, but when I found myself back at Syracuse in the fall, it was difficult: I didn’t know how to find my place. Through joining the community service fraternity, I found a diverse space that I loved and became very engaged across campus. As I was developing relationships and serving my community through that space, I was also exploring my options academically and I fell in love with economics: I loved the constant challenge that came with new concepts. From there, the next logical step was getting a job and, through maintaining connections with a mentor at Bank of America, I decided to try compliance and I entered the math program as an intern. This experience was incredible for me because I was allowed to do real work; in this role I felt needed, valued, and that I had an opportunity to make a difference. After graduation, I came back to work in the Financial Crimes Compliance space and I have been here ever since.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time in the Student Leaders Program?

The greatest lesson I learned is that you can really do whatever you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from: you can make an effort. When I was a Student Leader, the whole world opened up to me. I thought to myself, all these other students are doing amazing things, why can’t I? What is stopping me from being who I want to be?

 

Christina Stanton, a 2006 Student Leader alum from the Tampa/St. Petersburg Market in Florida, now works as an attorney in Denver and spends time volunteering to help those in her community.

What inspired you to become a student leader?

While I was in high school, about an hour away from where I lived, I wanted to do something more meaningful closer to home. I remember looking for ways to get more involved in my community, and that’s when I came across the Student Leaders Program.

I would like the power to open people’s eyes to the needs within their own communities and within our country. I think it is easy for us to look far away, but there is a lot of need right here and a lot that can be done for our neighbors.

Christina Stanton
Student Leader Alumni

What have you done since your experience as a Student Leader? What are you doing now?
 
After graduating from John Hopkins with a degree in creative writing, I ended up working with my Student Leaders employer, the Boys and Girls Club, for the following three years. After those three years, I decided to move to Boulder, Colorado to go to Law School. There, I got a certificate in Federal Indian and Tribal Law and, while I wanted to focus on violence against native women, I ended up doing international work through a fellowship with the United Nations. Nowadays, I work in public housing law with native tribes; 80% of the work I do deals with tribes on reservations in addition to volunteering with the Rape Crisis Line.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time in the Student Leaders Program?

While I was a student leader, I didn’t necessarily enjoy getting up at 6:00 am to chart 300 boxes, but I knew that my tedious work meant every child would get lunch that day, and in many cases it would be their only meal. There is no task that is too small or trivial that you shouldn’t take it on. This program made me more aware of my impact, and in a lot of ways I believe it is the most eye-opening thing I could have done.

 

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