ORLANDO, FL— Five high school juniors, seniors and recent graduates from Orlando are heading to Washington, D.C. next week as part of their experience in the Bank of America Student Leaders program (#BofAStudentLeaders). This signature philanthropic initiative offers young people who are passionate about improving the community an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local non-profit and to participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Bank of America is investing more than $3.6 million in funding to support 2,300 summer jobs for teens across the country, with a focus on young people from low-income families.
In partnership with Mayor Buddy Dyer, the bank is funding paid internships for the following students at the Boys and Girls Club of Orlando:
Ashley Garcia is a rising senior at Colonial High School. Ashley moved to the United States just two years ago and knew no English. She values understanding her abilities and weaknesses and states her goals are to “help, learn and improve”.
Kerlenz Lapaine, a recent graduate of Oak Ridge High School, is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She is passionate about self-improvement and giving back to her community. She recognizes language barriers and crime rates as some of the larger issues affecting her community.
Mackenzie Johnson is a rising senior at Windermere High School. Mackenzie is passionate about giving back to her community and spends her time volunteering with the American Heart Association and the New Vision Baptist Preschool Directory.
Jayden Smith is a recent graduate of Oak Ridge High School. She understands that issues of generational debt are some of the biggest facing her community.
Travis Waters is a rising senior at Wekiva High School. A proud JROTC Cadet and Squadron Commander, Travis places great importance on giving back to his community and honing his own leadership skills.
Through Student Leaders, Bank of America helps young people gain work experience, broaden their perspective on how nonprofits achieve their mission, and advance their civic engagement. Bank of America Student Leaders 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 – through Better Money Habits®, the bank’s financial wellness and education platform created in partnership with the Khan Academy.
“We recognize that connecting young people to meaningful, early employment can help them chart a path for career success and advance the long-term success of our community,” said Jodie Hardman, Orlando SVP of Bank of America. “The Student Leaders program offers youth in Orlando a unique opportunity to build their resume while also learning more about how to shape positive community change that will result in a more sustainable community for us all.”
This month the students will attend a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8-13) to join 225 other young people from across the country to build advocacy and inclusive leadership skills and develop a peer network that can advance their future career success and contribute to economic progress in Orlando. 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.