Bank of America Connects Seattle-Area Youth to Workforce Success Through Summer Jobs at Local Nonprofits

Through Student Leaders® Program, Bank Engages Community-Minded Teens in Nonprofit Internships and Leadership Development

SEATTLE — Bank of America recently selected five high school juniors and seniors from the Seattle area to serve as Bank of America Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders). This signature philanthropic program offers young people an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit and the ability to help improve their communities. The program also empowers student participants at a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Now in its fifteenth year, the bank has recognized more than 75 local Student Leaders, helping them chart a path for success.  Nearly 3,500 young people from across the country have gained skills and workforce experience through the program since 2004.

Today, about 15 percent of all young people across the country, 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 career skills, many young people may be left behind, leading to high rates of youth unemployment and juvenile delinquency and hindering overall economic progress. Paid youth employment programs, like Student Leaders, connect young adults to education, training and the job market can help them build workforce skills while also enabling them to engage with their community in unique ways.

Through Student Leaders, Bank of America helps young people gain work experience, broaden their perspective on how nonprofits serve community needs, and advance their civic engagement. Student Leaders from across the country 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.

To bring the program full circle and enable Student Leaders to engage with their like-minded peers, Bank of America also hosted an annual leadership summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8-13). Students joined nearly 300 other young people from across the country to build advocacy and inclusive leadership skills and developed a peer network. In addition to discussing civil rights and the value of cross-sector partnerships, they met with members of Congress and participated in a service learning project at the American Red Cross.

“We recognize that building workforce skills early can help prepare a young person for long-term success,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle Market President with Bank of America. “Investing in youth and young adults is part of our broader commitment to connect individuals to the training and jobs needed for success, ultimately strengthening our community.”

The Seattle-based Student Leaders will work at Treehouse, the Seattle Goodwill, the Technology Access Foundation, Mercy Housing and Imagine Housing this summer.

The Seattle Market Student Leaders are:

  • Emma Grossman, a Seattle resident and rising senior at Seattle Preparatory School is interning at the Seattle Goodwill.
  • Heidi Yagen an Auburn resident and recent graduate of Raisbeck Aviation High School, is interning at Mercy Housing.
  • Lucas Sherman, a Seattle resident and rising senior at Seattle Academy, is interning at Treehouse.
  • Luis Castro, a Seattle resident and rising senior at Chief Sealth International, is interning at Technology Access Foundation.
  • Rahul Jain, a Bellevue resident and rising senior at Bellevue High School, is interning at Imagine Housing.

“Lucas has been a welcome addition our Human Resource Department as we work on expanding our Graduation Success program statewide,” said James Wegmeyer, Treehouse’s Human Resource Generalist. “We have thoroughly enjoyed his insight and involvement.”

In addition to the Student Leaders program, 10 young people from the Seattle Boys and Girls Club will be provided paid internships in local Bank of America community financial centers where they will have the opportunity to develop skills and build their resume while earning a paycheck. Bank of America also provides information and tools to help young adults learn about careers and personal finance through Better Money Habits®, its financial wellness and education platform.

Bank of America
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. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

About Treehouse
Founded in 1988 by social workers, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of more than 7,000 youth in foster care. We’re committed to youth in care statewide achieving a degree or other career credential, living wage job and stable housing at the same rate as their peers. With fierce optimism, we fight the structural inequities that impact all of us. Learn more at www.treehouseforkids.org.


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