Student Leaders: Investing in the leaders of tomorrow

Through our Student Leaders Program®, we recognize civic-minded high school students in by providing them with a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit and participation in a leadership summit in Washington, D.C in July. This year, we are marking fifteen years of Student Leaders and have expanded the program to include young adults from 83 communities across the country. Since 2004, we’ve worked with more than 3,000 student leaders 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.

What do a youth advocating for education in Charlotte, a student in Maryland working to eradicate food insecurity and gender bias in STEM, and a student serving as a Youth Attorney in California have in common? They are just three of our 2019 Bank of America Student Leaders. Here are their stories.

Jayden Brown, Charlotte Market

In addition to serving as the president of his school's Student Government Association, Jayden Brown also holds a seat on Charlotte's Teen Health Advisory Board, working to ensure that the needs and interests of the youth are being considered when decisions are made by local leaders. As a charter school student, one of Jayden's largest platforms is advocating for their importance and serving as a voice in supporting the quality education charter schools can provide. Through his Student Leader internship with Freedom School Partners, a nonprofit focused on preventing summer learning loss through inspiring a passion for reading and learning, Jayden hopes to continue to develop his voice as a civic leader.

Faith Burton, Greater Washington DC Market

Faith Burton’s love of science inspired her to develop and teach her own lesson about genetically modified organisms to three local Maryland middle school classes annually. While teaching these classes, however, she noticed a growing gender disparity in STEM. This disparity inspired Faith to work toward greater female participation in STEM by promoting science to young girls. After addressing issues of gender representation in STEM, Faith hopes to work toward solving the world's issue of food insecurity through the combined forces of scientific research, political change, and her knowledge of molecular biology. This summer, as a Student Leader, she will be interning with the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

Juan Flores, San Diego Market

Through his work as a youth attorney in the Escondido Police Department Juvenile Diversion Program, high school junior Juan Flores helps offenders engage in alternative consequences. The program works to help offenders clear their damaging records, understand the severity of being arrested, and inspire students to develop a passion for the law. This summer, he hopes to find new ways to create change in his community during the Student Leaders program and while working with Community Housing Works, an organization that develops, operates, and preserves affordable apartment communities throughout California.

Advancing economic mobility through summer youth employment

Student Leaders is one example of our commitment to connect young people to jobs as part of our broader focus on addressing workforce readiness in the communities we serve. This summer, we are investing over $5 million to support nearly 3,000 summer jobs for youth and young adults, including young people from low-income families and at-risk youth. This includes partnerships with mayors in 66 cities across the country to provide summer jobs for at-risk youth and our own Financial Center Summer Internship program through which we are employing nearly 200 high school students to serve as Technology Ambassadors in our financial centers.  Through our funding, nonprofit partnerships, and hiring, we’re developing a pathway to hire from the communities we serve, connect people with local career opportunities, and foster a diverse pool of talent.


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