Four OC scholars are named Bank of America Student Leaders

Two high school seniors and a pair of recent high school graduates from Orange County have been selected to participate in a prestigious summer internship program that promotes leadership development and community engagement opportunities.

Destiny Ceja of Santa Ana High School, Catherine Liu of Oxford Academy and class of 2021 grads Maya Bryson of Anaheim and Vivian Wang of Yorba Linda were recently announced as Bank of America Student Leaders following a competitive application process. The four scholars have since been installed in eight-week paid summer internships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, earning $17 per hour. Each student also received a Chromebook through the program, which has gone virtual for the second straight year.

Bank of America Student Leaders
Four Orange County scholars have been selected to participate in Bank of America’s Student Leaders program. From left to right are Destiny Ceja, Catherine Liu, Vivian Wang and Maya Bryson.

Established in 2004, Bank of America’s Student Leaders program taps about 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. each year. In addition to taking part in an eight-week paid internship and engaging in a collaborative project with support from mentors, participants are invited to a national summit.

This summer, the Student Leaders will connect virtually through the Close Up Foundation to be part of Stanford University’s “Young Democracy at Home” event, which encourages meaningful conversations about issues facing young people.

“Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults by connecting them to jobs, community engagement opportunities and leadership development,” said Allen Staff, president of Bank of America Orange County. “We recognize young adults are the future of our community, which is why programs like Student Leaders are one way we can provide paid opportunities for students to gain job experience while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter the local workforce.”

In addition to the Student Leaders initiative, Bank of America has also provided grant funding to two nonprofits — High School Inc. and Orange County United Way — to help them provide jobs and internships for 100 local teens and young adults.

Here’s a little more about this year’s four Student Leaders from Orange County:

Maya Bryson, Class of 2021, Wilson High School (Long Beach)

Maya will attend Dartmouth College, where she will study neuroscience and run track. The Anaheim resident was co-founder of her high school’s Black Student Union, and she started the school district’s first Superintendent Student Advisory Committee as a way to give a voice to students as the administration makes decisions about diversity, inclusion and overall student wellbeing.

Destiny Ceja, senior, Santa Ana High School

Destiny will be a senior next fall and plans to continue her leadership role in multiple campus organizations, including serving as chairperson for the Principal’s Advisory Committee, president of the Red Cross Club and operations manager for NJROTC. After being diagnosed with a neurological disorder, she became curious about the causes of such diseases, and she aspires to become a neurosurgeon focused on research.

Catherine Liu, senior, Oxford Academy

Catherine will be a senior in the fall at Oxford Academy. During the pandemic, she launched a cultural exchange program with students in Wuhan who were struggling emotionally during the early days of quarantine. The program grew to 1,000 students in China and 50 volunteers in the U.S. She also won first place in the annual national Congressional Art Contest. Her oil painting, My Grandpa, will soon hang in the student art gallery at the U.S. Capitol.

Vivian Wang, Class of 2021, Valencia High School

Vivian of Yorba Linda will attend Stanford University in the fall and plans to study computer science and applied technology. In 2014, she and her sister founded Linens N Love, a nonprofit that provides slightly imperfect towels and linens from hotel chains to nonprofits in need, including animal shelters, homeless shelters, teen outreach centers and veteran homes.

For more information about the program, or to learn about the eligibility criteria, visit the Student Leaders section on the Bank of America’s website.