Bank of America announced that the four Nashville-area high school graduates selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) have started their paid summer internship experience of leadership, civic engagement, and workforce skills-building. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program has been adapted to a virtual format, through which students will have the opportunity to participate in sessions that will expose them to the vital role that nonprofits play in advancing community health, the importance of public private partnerships to advance social change, and a focus on building financial acumen.
The Class of 2020 Nashville-based Bank of America Student Leaders are:
- Alexia Williams, Antioch, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet Class of 2020 graduate, plans to attend NYU in the fall
- Jordan Richardson, Antioch, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet Class of 2020 graduate, plans to attend Howard University in the fall
- Alexis Lowe, Murfreesboro, Blackman High School Class of 2020 graduate, plans to attend Purdue University in the fall
- Landon Hale, Nolensville, Nolensville High School Class of 2020 graduate, plans to attend Cornell University in the fall
Nashville Student Leaders will participate in programming that leverages Bank of America’s national partnerships and expertise and will work closely with the bank’s Nashville leadership and nonprofit partners. They will participate in a collaborative, mentoring-focused project working closely with the Oasis Center to create a virtual platform via social media that connects young people to local resources without having to leave their homes.
In addition, Student Leaders will engage in conversations focused on social justice, civil rights and how to build a more diverse and inclusive society and have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their personal finances through Better Money Habits®, Bank of America’s financial wellness and education platform.
“Bank of America student leaders have made valuable contributions to the Oasis Center for more than a decade and we are thrilled that, despite the pandemic, they are continuing to help us virtually support and improve the lives of young people in Middle Tennessee,” said Tom Ward, President and CEO of Oasis Center. “We couldn’t serve more than 3,000 Nashville youth and their families each year if it weren’t for the incredible community support we receive from community partners like Bank of America.”
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. 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. In addition to Student Leaders, the bank has invested in summer jobs for young people through its partnership with Opportunity NOW This summer, Bank of America is connecting approximately 3,000 young adults to summer jobs through partnerships with nonprofits and local mayors and its own Student Leaders® program.
Bringing students from across the country together in order to discuss the role of citizenship and how cross sector collaboration creates community impact is a core component of the Student Leaders program. This year, 300 students will gather virtually for the Young America Together at Home program, delivered by the Close Up Foundation, which will include discussion of finding one’s voice in order to effect change and pressing policy issues such as the economy, healthcare, the environment and immigration.
“It’s important that we invest in young adults of all backgrounds in Nashville by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Tyson Moore, Nashville market president, Bank of America. “Now more than ever, it’s our responsibility as community leaders to create opportunities for our youth to grow and succeed.”
The ability to earn income is essential to many young people, and each student will receive a $5,000 stipend to recognize them for their community achievements as part of their Student Leader experience.