Our 2020 Bank of America Student Leaders have been finding their voice and developing leadership skills to help them tackle some of the challenges we face, from a health and humanitarian crisis to the need for greater racial equality. We asked them to reflect on the needs they see in their communities, and they shared thoughtful responses on how we each have a role to play to ensure that racial equality and economic opportunity are realities for all. “We are the generation of change, settling for nothing. There’s a world out there to be won and we’re going to win it. There’s a sky out there to be reached, and we’re going to fly to it.” – Zoe, Pittsburgh
Student Leaders share their hopes for building a more diverse and inclusive society
GRAPHIC: Priya, Hartford
AUDIO_Priya Bhat: Everyone should be exposed to opportunities that can help them succeed in life. And everyone deserves to feel safe and respected wherever they go.
VIDEO: Interview with Priya Bhat.
GRAPHIC: Jaya, Orlando
AUDIO_Jaya Dayal: That no matter how old they are, where they come from, all of us have the ability to affect change.
VIDEO: Interview with Jaya Dayal.
GRAPHIC: Bryce, Treasure Coast
AUDIO_Bryce Shevak: We shouldn't have to wait for an injustice to be broadcast all over the news and social media for us to stand up and have a say, and to use our voice.
VIDEO: Interview with Bryce Shevak.
GRAPHIC: THE POWER TO
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VIDEO: Video montage of student leader’s headshots.
GRAPHIC: Michelle, Boston
AUDIO_Michelle Ly: I believe that promoting inclusivity can help inspire both change and progress, and help improve our understanding of not just ourselves, but also of our world and the people around us.
VIDEO: Interview with Michelle Ly.
GRAPHIC: Pravarakhya, Tucson
AUDIO_Pravarakhya Puppalla: To have an open mind. And not only just to have an open mind, but to be willing to speak that mind. To be willing to sit down and have intellectual discussions with your peers. Because your own story is what is going to propel them to understand you.
VIDEO: Interview with Pravarakhya Puppalla.
GRAPHIC: Tejas, Richmond
AUDIO_Tejas Muthusamy: Whether you're first generation like me, or your family's been here for centuries, in some fashion or another the vast majority of Americans are descended from immigrants.
VIDEO: Interview with Tejas Muthusamy.
GRAPHIC: Shirley, Houston
AUDIO_Shirley: We need to learn from each other and see the world in multiple perspectives.
VIDEO: Interview with Shirley Zhu.
GRAPHIC: Cristian, Houston
AUDIO_Cristian Robles: It's important that we engage and we create sustainable and long-lasting communities.
VIDEO: Interview with Cristian Robles.
GRAPHIC: SINCE 2004
We’ve connected nearly
4,000 young people to employment,
skills development and service through
the Student Leaders program.
VIDEO: Video montage of moving student leader’s headshots.
GRAPHIC: Dorcas, Delaware
AUDIO_Dorcas Olatunji: I think one thing we can do to advance racial equality and economic opportunity is to change our education systems. A lot of the times, black voices and authors are omitted from important historical text and they're told in different stories and different ways across the nation.
VIDEO: Interview with Dorcas Olatunji.
GRAPHIC: Maya, Greater Washington, D.C.
AUDIO_Maya Canady: It's to not only examine structural change within the institutions that we belong to, whether that's our workplaces or our schools or our universities or our country, but also examining our implicit bias within ourselves.
VIDEO: Interview with Maya Canady.
GRAPHIC: Katherine, West Palm Beach
AUDIO_Katherine Oung: I think it's important that we all become both empathetic and educated, so we can advocate for policies that will truly help marginalized communities.
VIDEO: Interview with Katherine Oung.
GRAPHIC: Bank of America is proud to support
these young leaders as they serve,
inspire and change the world.
VIDEO: Video montage of moving student leader headshots.
GRAPHIC: Zoe, Pittsburgh
AUDIO_Zoe Babbit: I can't settle when there's so much out there to discover and to change. I feel like it's the rallying cry of our generation. Our opportunities are endless. We are the generation of change, settling for nothing. There's a world out there to be won, and we're going to win it. There's a sky to be reached, and we're going to fly to it.
VIDEO: Interview with Zoe Babbit.
GRAPHIC: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE POWER TO DO? ®
GRAPHIC: BANK OF AMERICA Logo
Learn more: bankofamerica.com/StudentLeaders
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Originally published 8/21/2020