Bank of America announced recently that the four Inland Empire high school juniors and seniors selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) have started their paid summer internship experience of leadership, civic engagement and workforce skills-building with local nonprofit OneFuture Coachella Valley. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program has been adapted to a virtual format.
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 nationally. In Riverside and San Bernardino, there are 83,000 disconnected youth, which makes up 14 percent of the total youth population. 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.
Now in particular, 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 program, each student will receive a $5,000 stipend.
“Now more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Al Arguello, Inland Empire market president, Bank of America. “Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community.”
The Class of 2020 Inland Empire Bank of America Student Leaders are:
- Tyler Kim, Temecula, Temecula Valley High School
- Katelyn Koeper, Murrieta, Chaparral High School
- Lizbeth Luevano, Indio, La Quinta High School
- Alicia Ramirez, Highland, San Gorgonio High School
The Student Leaders will participate virtually in sessions on the vital role nonprofits play in advancing community health and the importance of public private partnerships to drive social change, while building financial acumen. They will also participate in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused project working closely with OneFuture Coachella Valley. In addition, they will virtually join 300 other Students Leaders from across the country for a dialogue on the role of citizenship and how cross sector collaboration creates community impact. This virtual program, “Young America Together at Home” will be delivered by the Close Up Foundation and include discussions about finding one’s voice in order to affect change and address pressing policy issues such as the economy, healthcare, the environment and immigration.
In addition to Student Leaders, Bank of America is connecting approximately 3,000 young adults nationwide to paid summer jobs through various programs such as its Financial Center Intern Program and partnerships with city-wide summer youth employment programs across the nation through which young adults gain valuable workforce skills.