OC students to virtually participate in Bank of America leadership training and service program

Bank of America has tapped four local high schoolers to participate in a selective summer internship program that offers leadership training and promotes civic engagement.

Gabrielle Latimore of Northwood High School, Alexander Rojas of Segerstrom High School, Rushil Shah of Canyon High School and Emily Wang of Troy High School have been chosen as Bank of America Student Leaders through a competitive application process. All four students, who will be seniors in the fall, will work with United Way of Orange County and receive $5,000 stipends.

student portraits
Four Orange County scholars have been selected to participate in Bank of America’s Student Leaders program. Clockwise from the top left are Alexander Rojas of Segerstrom High School, Emily Wang of Troy High School, Gabrielle Latimore of Northwood High School and Rushil Shah of Canyon High School.

Like so many initiatives, the Student Leaders program was forced to adapt to a virtual format because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But organizers say participants will still get opportunities to learn about the vital role nonprofits play in advancing community health and the importance of public-private partnerships to drive social change while building financial acumen.

Over the course of their eight-week experience, the Orange County students are expected to work closely with United Way on a “Read Aloud 15” literacy campaign, encouraging parents and caregivers to read to young children for 15 minutes every day.

‘A powerful investment’

Last year’s Student Leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. for a week-long national summit to learn how government, businesses and nonprofits work together to address critical needs. This year, about 300 Student Leaders from across the country will instead connect virtually for a dialogue on the role of citizenship and how cross-sector collaboration creates community impact.

The “Young America Together at Home” program will be delivered by the Close Up Foundation and include discussions about finding one’s voice to affect change and address policies related to the economy, healthcare, the environment and immigration.

Since 2004, more than 3,000 students have participated in the Student Leaders program, which is part of Bank of America’s efforts to promote youth employment and economic mobility.

“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 Allen Staff, Orange County market president for 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.”

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.