Bank of America recently announced the names of five high school juniors and seniors from the Atlanta region that will serve this year as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders). Rising McEachern High School senior Kennedy Head is one of the students who will participate in the signature philanthropic program.
Kennedy will have the opportunity to build her workforce and leadership skills and improve her community through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit.
As an Atlanta-based Student Leader, Kennedy will work at East Lake Foundation this summer. Since 2013, more than 25 Atlanta Student Leaders have interned with the East Lake Foundation, an organization that works to enable residents in Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood and families at Charles R. Drew Charter School to build a better future for themselves through its holistic model for community revitalization that includes mixed-income housing, high-quality education and community wellness.
This summer, the Student Leaders will work with the Foundation’s partners to assist senior citizens with computer classes, tutor and mentor elementary and middle school youth and serve as counselors for the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) summer camp at Drew Charter School.
Student Leaders to Meet in Washington, D.C.
To bring the program full circle and enable Kennedy and the other Student Leaders to engage with their like-minded peers, Bank of America will host an annual leadership summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8-13).
Students will join nearly 300 other young people from across the country to build advocacy and inclusive leadership skills and develop a peer network. In addition to discussing civil rights and the value of cross-sector partnerships, they will meet with members of Congress and participate in a service learning project at the American Red Cross.
During the program’s 15 years in Atlanta, Bank of America has recognized 80 local Student Leaders, helping them chart a path for success. Nearly 3,500 young people from across the country have gained skills and workforce experience through the program since 2004.
Today, about 15% of all young people across the country, or 4.7 million, are categorized as disconnected youth who aren’t in school and don’t have a job. Without access to opportunities that build career skills, many young people may be left behind, leading to high rates of youth unemployment and juvenile delinquency and hindering overall economic progress.
Paid youth employment programs like Student Leaders that connect young adults to education, training and the job market can help them build workforce skills while also enabling them to engage with their community in unique ways.
Through Student Leaders, Bank of America helps young people gain work experience, broaden their perspective on how nonprofits serve community needs, and advance their civic engagement. Student Leaders from across the country also develop better money habits by working with bank volunteers to increase their financial management skills, from building a budget to creating a savings plan.
“We recognize that building workforce skills early can help prepare a young person for long-term success,” said Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president, Bank of America. “Investing in youth and young adults is part of our broader commitment to connect individuals to the training and jobs needed for economic mobility and success, ultimately strengthening our community.”