Bank of America Connects Upstate and Midlands-Area Youth to Workforce Success Through Virtual Summer Leadership Experience

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

Greenville – Bank of America today announced that high schoolers from the Upstate and Midlands regions selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) are engaging in a paid summer internship 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 have the opportunity to participate in sessions that 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 Upstate Bank of America Student Leaders are:
• Rund Abdelnabi, Piedmont, SC, Greenville Technical Charter High School
• Leonardo Bacheschi, Greer, SC, Southside High School
• Alexis Weathers, Augusta, GA, A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School
• Ryland Rychener, Chapin, SC, Chapin High School
• Jada Adams, Columbia, SC, Ridge View High School

The Student Leaders participate in programming that leverages Bank of America’s national partnerships and expertise and work closely with the bank’s leadership and nonprofit partners in Greenville, Columbia, Aiken and Augusta. They have participated in a collaborative, mentoring-focused project working closely with United Way of Greenville County to build out a story bank tool. In addition, Student Leaders are engaging 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.

“We have been inspired by the opportunity to work with these engaged young leaders this summer through our great partnership with Bank of America,” said Meghan Barp, president and CEO of United Way of Greenville County. “In addition to their commitment to making a difference in our community, the students’ innovative and thoughtful approach to this project will help us share the United Way story in a new way.”

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 gathered virtually for the Young America Together at Home program, delivered by the Close Up Foundation, which included 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 youth and young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Stacy Brandon, Market President, Bank of America for the Upstate. “Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community.”

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. 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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