Building a network through work can be one of the best ways to start a career path and increase self-confidence. That’s why Bank of America has a long history of investing in youth employment, including our Financial Center Apprenticeship program, our Student Leaders® program, and partnerships with local nonprofits, mayors and sports teams.
Connecting community-minded youth to internships
Every year, we help connect more than 300 high school juniors and seniors—also known as Student Leaders®—to service opportunities and skills training. They participate in an eight-week paid internship with local nonprofits like Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity.
They also get to see how nonprofits, governments and businesses collaborate to meet local needs by participating in the national Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
An early jump on a healthy career
A partnership between Bakersfield College and the Kern County School District is connecting students with emerging opportunities in public health. High school students take courses at the community college for free and are connected to career pathways in public health through volunteering and internships. The program drastically reduces student debt for participants, many of whom are from low-income households, helping to alleviate some of the financial burden of traditional four-year degree.
From internships to careers
Our Financial Center Apprenticeship program focuses on building technology expertise while also offering an opportunity to further develop business acumen and skills through mentoring by Bank of America teammates. Students like Dan Querrius in Dallas, TX, have served as Digital Ambassadors in financial centers across the country, bringing their own passion and know-how to the workplace. In addition to bringing home a paycheck, our apprenticeship participants gain a better understanding of personal finances through Better Money Habits®, our financial wellness and education platform.
Pivoting summer youth employment programs in response to the coronavirus
2020 presented new challenges for connecting youth with job experience. So after more than a decade of partnering with mayors’ offices across the country to facilitate youth employment, we pivoted to making those connections virtually. In the process, we helped provide summer employment to approximately 4,000 at-risk youth from low- and moderate-income communities.
For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina, employer commitments to provide traditional onsite youth internship experiences were down 78%. This led to our partnership with the City of Charlotte Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP) to help create a virtual summer internship program. Working with local organizations and businesses, the MYEP’s program ensured students had everything they needed to succeed virtually, from access to Chromebooks to frequent check-ins and follow-up help.