The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced that five Sacramento area high school students have been selected to take part in the 2012 Student Leaders program, which awards a total of 225 high school juniors and seniors from around the country with paid eight-week summer internships at local nonprofit organizations.
The program is part of Bank of America’s ongoing philanthropic commitment to providing community-minded students with access and exposure to critical resources that will bolster their work and life skills while also benefiting the community.
The student awardees will also travel to Washington, DC to take part in a national Student Leadership Summit this July.
“Teens have been disproportionally affected by the recession with unemployment rates at an all-time high,” said Janet Lamkin, Bank of America president, California. “Through the student leaders program, students are receiving more than just a paycheck. They are gaining valuable real-world experience that will help them develop further as leaders, all while helping to strengthen the Sacramento region during a time when an increased number of people need assistance.”
Despite gains in the overall job market, one out of every four job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 is still unable to find employment.
California has an even higher rate at 36.1 percent. Research indicates that teens who are gainfully employed have lower drop-out rates, are more likely to continue their education to pursue long-term career goals, and ultimately show an increase in lifetime earning potential.
The five participating local students have all been placed at the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento (ucpsacto.org ) and each has their own unique story:
Michael Bergland, a recent graduate of Golden Sierra High School, is one of the teens. He is also a student defense attorney/juror at El Dorado County Teen Court.
The other students are Juan De Luna, a recent graduate of Grant High School; Sierra MacLeod, a senior at Liberty Ranch High School; Sarah Yee, a recent graduate of Mira Loma High School; and William Gasaway, a recent graduate of Rio Linda High School.
Local nonprofits also benefit from the program. The 2012 Nonprofit Finance Fund State of the Nonprofit Sector survey reports that 88 percent of nonprofits responding expect an increase in demand for services this year, while funding resources remain tight. The extra capacity provided by the students will help nonprofits meet this increased demand.
This year alone, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is investing more than $1 million in the Student Leaders program.
Since 2004, the company has committed more than $9 million, recognizing more than 1,600 students in 44 U.S. cities.
In addition to the paid internships, the students will attend a weeklong Bank of America Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC in July.
Through participation in a service learning project and a series of interactive workshops, including Capitol Hill briefings, sessions on financial education and leadership development skills, the students will gain a deeper understanding of how service creates positive change and how corporate, nonprofit and government collaboration revitalize communities.
Learn more at bankofamerica.com/opportunity and follow the bank on Twitter at @BofA_Community.