Bank of America connects Detroit-Area youth to workforce success through virtual summer leadership experience

Student Leaders underlines bank’s ongoing commitment to connect young people to jobs, skills-building and opportunities to strengthen our community

DETROIT – Bank of America today announced that the five Detroit-area high school juniors and seniors selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) have started their summer experience of leadership, civic engagement, and workforce skills-building. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program has been adapted to a virtual format, through which students will have the opportunity to participate in sessions that will expose them to the vital role that nonprofits play in advancing community health, the importance of public private partnerships to advance social change, and a focus on building financial acumen.

The Class of 2020 Detroit area-based Bank of America Student Leaders are:

• Kathryn Cherven, a Grosse Pointe Park resident and graduate of Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms
• Zhane Coleman, a Detroit resident and graduate of Mercy High School in Farmington Hills
• Davis Greene, an Eastpointe resident and graduate of Loyola High School in Detroit
• Jackson Peurach, a Novi resident and graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi
• Laura Topf, a Huntington Woods resident and graduate of Cranbrook Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Hills

Detroit area Student Leaders will participate in programming that leverages Bank of America’s national partnerships and expertise and will work closely with the bank’s Detroit leadership and nonprofit partners. They will participate in an eight-week collaborative, mentoring-focused project working closely with Focus: HOPE, a Detroit nonprofit organization that provides community betterment programs.

In addition, Student Leaders will engage in conversations focused on social justice, civil rights and how to build a more diverse and inclusive society and have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their personal finances through Better Money Habits®, Bank of America’s financial wellness and education platform.

“Focus: HOPE is honored to welcome Bank of America’s Student Leaders for a virtual engagement. These exemplary young people, looking to make a difference in their community, are tomorrow’s leaders.” said Portia Roberson, CEO, Focus: HOPE. “It is rewarding to share how our organization assists the community and share our vision for the future of Detroit with our youth.”

Bringing students from across the country together in order to discuss the role of citizenship and how cross sector collaboration creates community impact is a core component of the Student Leaders program. This year, 300 students will gather virtually for the Young America Together at Home program, delivered by the Close Up Foundation, which will include discussion of finding one’s voice in order to effect change and pressing policy issues such as the economy, healthcare, the environment and immigration.

“Now more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, we remain committed to supporting young adults by connecting them to jobs, new skills, and leadership development,” said Matt Elliott, Market President, Bank of America in Michigan. “Through Student Leaders, we build pathways to success and give voice to the next generation, that will help develop a more diverse and inclusive society.”

In the wake of significant job losses nationwide, the ability to earn a paycheck will be essential to many young people whether they are helping to support their families or planning for the future. As part of their Student Leader experience, each student will receive a $5,000 stipend to recognize them for their community achievements.

Recent estimates suggest that the number of disconnected youth – those who aren’t in school and don’t have a job – has likely tripled since last year and could be as high as 18 million. Without access to opportunities that build career skills, many young people may be left behind, leading to high rates of youth unemployment and hindering overall economic progress. In addition to Student Leaders, the bank invests in summer jobs for young people through its partnership with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent and provides virtual internships at its Detroit area Merrill Lynch offices and at local financial centers to gain valuable workforce skills. This summer, Bank of America is connecting approximately 3,000 young adults to summer jobs through partnerships with nonprofits and local mayors and its own Student Leaders® program.





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