Special to the Daily World
Bank of America has announced that 80 local students have been chosen to participate in two local summer job programs. First, the Bank of America Summer Youth Employment Initiative is a partnership with Mayor Kasim Reed that provides 75 at risk teens with job opportunities at local nonprofits, and Bank of America has awarded the City of Atlanta $100,000 in grant funding to support this initiative.
“These young people are going to have an opportunity they didn’t have before,” Mayor Reed said. “The $100,000 grant from Bank of America is literally putting dozens of youth to work this summer. This investment is another example of the strong partnerships between the City and the private sector that make a real difference in the lives of residents in neighborhoods across Atlanta every day.”
Second, The Bank of America Student Leaders® program, now in its ninth year, provides 225 community-minded high school juniors and seniors across the U.S. – including five from Atlanta – with a paid eight-week summer internship at local nonprofit organizations. In addition, Student Leaders attend a weeklong Bank of America Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, in July.
“Teens have been disproportionally affected by the recession with unemployment rates at an all-time high,” said Cheryl Lomax, Georgia market manager, Bank of America. “Summer jobs provide more than just a paycheck to young people. Connecting these outstanding young leaders to work experience helps them gain additional skills and build their network as they develop further as leaders, while helping to strengthen Atlanta during a time when an increased number of people need assistance.”
Despite gains in the overall job market, the national rate of unemployment for youth aged 16-19 remains high at 24.6 percent. Georgia’s rate is 27.9%, ranking it among the worst states for youth unemployment. Taken together, these two programs demonstrate the Bank’s ongoing philanthropic commitment to providing high performing students with access and exposure to critical resources that will bolster their work and life skills while also benefiting the community.
The Summer Youth Employment Initiative and the Student Leaders program are part of Bank of America’s philanthropic investments in local communities. 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.
Following are the participating Student Leaders, all of whom are interning at Teach for America Atlanta: Mohini Chakravorty, Woodstock, a rising senior at The Walker School; Joshika Money, Alpharetta, an incoming freshman at the University of Georgia and graduate of Northview High School; Fahim Thawer, Alpharetta, is an incoming freshman at the University of Georgia and a graduate of Woodward Academy; Ciara Shaw, Stone Mountain, an incoming Freshman at Clark Atlanta and a graduate of Stephenson High School, and Terrence McKenzie, Stone Mountain, a rising senior at Druid Hills High School.
During the Student Leadership Summit in DC, Student Leaders will participate in a service learning project and through a series of interactive workshops, including Capitol Hill briefings, sessions on financial education and leadership development skills, the summit broadens students’ understanding of how service creates positive change and how corporate, nonprofit and government collaboration is instrumental in community revitalization.
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.