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A summer to build on

The country’s largest public school system prepares students for rewarding careers with the help of this public-private partnership

The summer of 2021 brought renewed life to New York City as pandemic restrictions were eased, and businesses began to return to a new normal. And the nation’s largest public school district — educating more than 1 million youths each year — remained focused on providing students with the skills they need to excel after high school.

Since 2012, the New York City Department of Education, with the support of Bank of America, has run Career and Technical Education Summer Scholars (CTESS), a summer enrichment and paid internship program that provides real-world education and training for select rising juniors and seniors from area Career and Technical Education high schools. Participating students gain exposure to the fields they are studying in school, develop technical and employability skills, strengthen their professional network, earn college credit and ward off summer learning loss.

For many of the students, participating in CTESS means their first paycheck. So each year, Bank of America Better Money Habits Champions volunteer to present financial education sessions that teach money management basics, like finding the right bank, saving and budgeting.

On top of their paid internship, which gives them hands-on experience in their area of study, students also take a College Now course focusing on career development and postsecondary planning. Upon completing CTESS, students are eligible to take industry-validated credentialing exams once they return to school. Earning these stackable credentials strengthens their skill sets and makes them more competitive job and college applicants.

Bank of America is grateful to work alongside New York City schools in these efforts, helping fund invaluable hands-on experiences as part of our $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. To date, more than 1,000 students have completed CTESS.