Investing in communities and helping students gain workforce and leadership skills

Each summer, we recognize nearly 230 high school students across the U.S. through our Student Leaders program. These community-minded high school junior and senior students participate in a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. and also work paid internships with local nonprofit partners throughout the summer, gaining valuable experience and building essential skills.

A key component of the summit is student leaders meet in groups with assigned group mentors – local Bank of America employees who dedicate their time to these young leaders throughout the summer. When the program ends, mentors maintain contact with many of the alumni from their group, as well as those with whom they formed relationships with during the summit.

Our commitment to youth employment
We recently spoke with four mentors about their commitment to youth employment and economic empowerment in their communities. Read about their experience and commitment to the program.

Jump to a spotlight story:

Jennifer Hurd, Cleveland, OH

“This program truly reflects the bank’s commitment to youth employment as well as diversity and inclusion, with religious, economic and racial diversity. These kids, they seriously want to make our world a better place. It’s important for them to see how much communities mean to a large corporation and how corporations and governments work together to make a positive impact in the world. It’s simply the best of what we do, hands down.”

Virginia Parker, Raleigh, NC

“Youth leadership development is a personal passion of mine. This program is a big deal in this market. We work with the YMCA of the Triangle, where they immerse the students in the organization, culture and mission of the YMCA. Each student has a board member as a mentor and participates in a rotational process through the organization. They learn about advocacy through exposure to the North Carolina legislature, outreach through visits to programs and camps, and participate in a two-day planning retreat to set goals and enjoy team building and bonding with their fellow students. Each summer, they are given an impactful project to do. This summer, they will be tasked with creating a food pantry at an elementary school that the YMCA will replicate in other neighborhoods.”

Gail Harvey, New York, NY

“Working with the Student Leaders bolsters your faith in the next generation. It’s rewarding to see how they develop, grow and change over the summer, how their eyes are opened as a result of the experiences they have in the program. That’s especially true when they come back from the summit, where they get to see that there are many other like-minded teens across the country. In our market, we also provide workshops on topics that include resume writing, interviewing and finding their next internship – whether with us or somewhere else. On top of financial literacy sessions, we pair them with financial mentors and encourage them to set financial goals for the summer. It’s all about preparing them to be the leaders of the future.”

Ann Shaler, Tampa Bay, FL

“Student Leaders exemplifies the bank’s commitment to the long game, investing in 16, 17 and 18-year-olds to expose them to what it’s like in the real world of community service – from the board room to nonprofit work. This program is an incredible pillar for the company to stand on. It makes you feel better about everything in this world when you’re in the room listening to kids dream and share.”


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