This summer, Bank of America has recognized 230 high school juniors and seniors from 48 communities across the U.S. as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) based on their commitment to advance social progress in their communities. This signature philanthropic program offers young people an opportunity to develop workforce skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit and a chance to enhance their leadership and advocacy skills through a national summit in Washington, D.C.
At this week’s Student Leadership Summit (July 8-13), students join their peers from a wide range of communities to build upon their leadership skills and learn about the importance of civic engagement and inclusion. In addition to discussing civil rights, poverty, the value of cross-sector partnerships and the power of mentoring, they will meet with their Congressional leadership, gain perspective on career trajectories and participate in a service learning project at the American Red Cross. The summit not only provides a unique opportunity for students to form strong peer networks, but it also provides them a chance to develop professional connections that that can advance future career options.
“The Student Leaders program is one way we’re working to advance pathways for young people,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Since 2004, we’ve helped more than 3,000 young adults build skills and create networks that can lead to long-term success. Over the course of the summer, the students benefit from valuable work experience, and they gain an understanding of the social and economic issues facing our country and the role that they can play to create and advocate for social change.”
One feature of the Student Leaders program includes a focus on helping young adults build better money habits in the context of earning a paycheck. Students receive Better Money Habits training in their local markets from Bank of America volunteers, and also participate in sessions at the summit, which are designed to increase their financial management skills – from building a budget to creating a savings plan. The bank also partners with LIFT, a national anti-poverty nonprofit organization, to enhance students’ understanding of the challenges facing individuals living on the margins.
“LIFTopolis is a real-world simulation that enables students to experience first-hand what it is like to navigate a complex social system to achieve their goals, all while on a tight budget and with no roadmap to tell them what to do or where to go,” said LIFT CEO Kirsten Lodal. “The program is meant to prepare, empower and inspire the next generation of leaders to help solve one of America’s most pressing problems – poverty.”
The Student Leaders program is one example of the bank’s commitment to connect young adults to the skills, resources, and experience needed to succeed through its hiring and recruiting, as well as partnerships with nonprofits and local mayors. This summer, the bank also is providing more than $3.6 million in funding to support 2,300 summer jobs for teens from low-income families in 50 communities across the U.S. This is part of Bank of America’s three-year, $40 million commitment to connect 100,000 teens and young adults to the skills and employment experiences needed for 21st-century jobs.
For more information about Student Leaders, please visit bankofamerica.com/studentleaders.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Liz Wright, Bank of America