Five Atlanta Students Awarded the Opportunity to Build Skills for Workforce Success through Bank of America’s Student Leaders® Program

Bank of America selected five high school seniors and recent graduates from the Atlanta community as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) this summer. This signature philanthropic program offers young people who are passionate about improving the community an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship with East Lake Foundation and participation in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C.

The 2018 Atlanta market Student Leaders are:

  • Nia Anderson, an Atlanta resident and recent graduate of Charles R. Drew Charter School
  • Jamal Johnson, a Decatur resident and rising senior at Ronald E. McNair High School
  • Matthew Tikhonovsky, a Marietta resident and rising senior at Living Science Home Studies and Dual Enrollment Program at Kennesaw State University
  • Desi Warren II, an Atlanta resident and recent graduate of Westlake High School
  • Mary Yeboah, College Park resident and rising senior at Banneker High School

Through the Student Leaders program, Bank of America helps young people gain work experience, learn about nonprofit work in communities and increase their civic engagement. Bank of America Student Leaders also work with bank volunteers to increase their financial management skills, from building a budget to creating a savings plan.

“We recognize that connecting young people to meaningful early employment can help them chart a path for career success and advance the long-term success of our community,” said Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president, Bank of America. “The Student Leaders program offers youth in Atlanta a unique opportunity to build their resume while also learning more about how to shape positive community change that will result in a more sustainable community for us all.”

Since 2013, more than 25 Atlanta Student Leaders have interned with the East Lake Foundation, an organization that works to enable residents in Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood and families at Charles R. Drew Charter School to build a better future for themselves through its holistic model for community revitalization that includes mixed-income housing, high-quality education and community wellness. Today, East Lake is a safe and vibrant place to live for all residents.  The East Lake Foundation works with partners to provide high-quality education, work readiness and financial literacy programs and healthcare training and access. This summer, the student leaders worked with the Foundation’s partners to assist senior citizens with computer classes, tutor and mentor elementary and middle school youth and serve as counselors for the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) summer camp at Drew Charter School.

“The East Lake Foundation harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of young people to shape new ideas and drive change. This continuous engagement in community empowers them to be civic-minded citizens who will be invested in Atlanta’s long-term success,” said Joi Jackson, Special Programs and Partnership Manger, East Lake Foundation. “Bank of America has been a valued partner in this effort over the past five years, and we wish this year’s student leaders much success as they return to school.”

At the leadership summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8-13), Anderson, Johnson, Tikhonovsky, Warren and Yeboah joined 225 other young people from across the country to build advocacy and inclusive leadership skills and develop a peer network to advance their future career success and contribute to economic progress in Atlanta. In addition to discussing civil rights and the value of cross-sector partnerships, they met with members of Congress and participated in a service learning project at the American Red Cross.

There are 75 Student Leaders alumni from Atlanta, and more than 3,000 Student Leaders across the country who have gained leadership skills and workforce experience through the program since 2004. This summer, as part of its three-year, $40 million commitment to connect youth and young adults to skills, training and jobs, Bank of America is investing more than $3.6 million in funding to support 2,300 summer jobs for teens across the country, with a particular focus on young people from low-income families.

Bank of America has also partnered with Khan Academy to provide information and tools to help young adults learn about careers and personal finance through Better Money Habits®, its financial wellness and education platform.

Today, approximately 8.8 percent of young people ages 16 to 24 are unemployed, and the rate is often in the double digits for African-American and Hispanic youth from underserved communities. Paid youth employment programs that connect young adults to education, training and the job market can help them build critical workforce skills to secure meaningful employment.

Bank of America

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Reporters May Contact:

Matthew Daily, Bank of America, 1.404.607.2844