Bank of America connects Detroit-area youth to 'Work Success Through Summer Jobs' at local nonprofit

Through Student Leaders® Program, bank engages community-minded teens in nonprofit internships and leadership development

DETROIT - Bank of America has announced that five high school juniors and seniors from Metro Detroit have been selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders). This signature philanthropic program offers young people an opportunity to build their work and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit while helping to improve their communities. The program also convenes all the Student Leaders globally for a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Now in its twelfth year in the Detroit community, the bank has supported 60 local Student Leaders, supporting a path to future success. Nearly 3,500 young people from across the country have gained skills and work experience through the program since 2004.

Today, about 15 percent of all young people throughout the nation, 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 work skills, many young people are at risk for being left behind, leading to high rates of unemployment and juvenile delinquency. Paid youth employment programs like Student Leaders that connect young adults to adults, education, training and the job market, can help them build work skills while enabling them to engage with their community in productive ways.

The Student Leaders program helps young people gain work experience, broaden their perspective on how nonprofits serve community needs, and advance their civic engagement. Student Leaders are also trained in Better Money Habits by working with bank volunteers to increase their financial management skills. BetterMoneyHabits.com curriculum ranges from building a budget to creating a savings plan to understanding financial tools.

To bring the program full circle and enable Student Leaders to engage with their likeminded peers, Bank of America hosts an annual leadership summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8-13). Students from Metro Detroit will join nearly 300 young people from across the country in an aim to develop broad peer networks and see the convergence of corporate, philanthropic and political groups in action. 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.

“We know that developing twenty-first century job skills early will prepare a young person for long-term success,” said Matt Elliott, Michigan Market President, Bank of America. “It is our commitment to invest in the people, places and projects that makes Detroit move, this is one such program that does just that. Investing in our young adults for access to the training needed for tomorrow’s jobs will strengthen our community overall.”

The 2019 class of Student Leaders of Metro Detroit are working at Focus: HOPE, a Detroit nonprofit organization that provides community betterment programs, for an eight-week paid internship that will include activities in the organization’s food, early child education and community development programs.

“Focus: HOPE is honored to host Bank of America’s Student Leaders, young people looking to make a difference in their community,” said Portia Roberson, CEO, Focus: HOPE. “It is very rewarding to show these future leaders our campus and detail the numerous ways our organization assists people in the community. Operating a nonprofit organization is complex, and we are grateful for the opportunity to educate these Student Leaders on the intricacies of nonprofit management, building upon their leadership skills and promoting community engagement.”

The five Detroit area Student Leaders are:
· Jerry Esquible, an Allen Park resident and a senior at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Riverview
· Elisa Estrella, a Detroit resident and a senior at Cass Technical High School in Detroit
· Mark Hardy, a Detroit resident and a senior at Communication and Media Arts High School in Detroit
· Kyla Hurns, a Southfield resident and a junior at Wylie E. Groves High School in Beverly Hills
· Gabrielle Wiwigacz, a Livonia resident and a senior at Franklin High School in Livonia

Nationally, Bank of America is investing more than $4 million in funding to support nearly 3,000 summer jobs for teens across the country through various initiatives, with a particular focus on young people from low-income families. Locally, the bank is partnering with Mayor Mike Duggan to fund paid summer internships for approximately 135 students through the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program. Mentoring, job shadowing, teaching better money habits and other volunteer opportunities give teens valuable perspective and vision about what it means to be employed, how to manage a paycheck and the kinds of job opportunities that exist today.

Bank of America also partners with Khan Academy to provide information and tools to help young adults learn about personal finance through Better Money Habits®, it’s a financial wellness and education platform.




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