Golden Sierra high school Teen Awarded Bank of America Internship and Leadership Opportunity
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America / Ken Arnold, Weber Shandwick, June 20, 2012Bank of America is helping five local students secure jobs and give back to their community this summer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California teens face the highest rate of unemployment at 36.1 percent. Michael Bergland attends Golden Sierra high school and is an El Dorado County resident. He has a very interesting background and has been involved in several other local endeavors, including:
• Student defense attorney/juror at El Dorado County Teen Court
• Help and council teens with drug and alcohol addictions
• Started school’s Friday Night Live program
He is one of five Sacramento area high school students who have been selected to take part in the 2012 Student Leaders program, which awards a total of 225 high school juniors and seniors from around the country with paid eight-week summer internships at local nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the internships, students also travel to Washington, DC to take part in a national Student Leadership Summit this July where they will further develop their leadership skills, network with other students from around the country and participate in a service project.
The program is part of Bank of America’s ongoing philanthropic commitment to providing community-minded students with access and exposure to critical resources that will bolster their work and life skills while also benefiting the community. The student awardees will also travel to Washington, DC to take part in a national Student Leadership Summit this July.
“Teens have been disproportionally affected by the recession with unemployment rates at an all-time high,” said Janet Lamkin, Bank of America President, California. “Through the Student Leaders program, students are receiving more than just a paycheck. They are gaining valuable real-world experience that will help them develop further as leaders, all while helping to strengthen Sacramento during a time when an increased number of people need assistance.”
Despite gains in the overall job market, one out of every four job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 is still unable to find employment. California has an even higher rate at 36.1 percent. Research indicates that teens who are gainfully employed have lower drop-out rates, are more likely to continue their education to pursue long-term career goals, and ultimately show an increase in lifetime earning potential.
The five participating local students have all been placed at the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento (http://www.ucpsacto.org ) and each has their own unique story:
• Michael Bergland, a Germantown resident, and recent graduate of Golden Sierra High School, is also a student defense attorney/juror at El Dorado County Teen Court
• Juan De Luna, a Sacramento resident, and recent graduate of Grant High School, aspires to work in the law enforcement field
• Sierra MacLeod, a Galt resident, and rising senior at Liberty Ranch High School, wants to use her leadership skills to bring positive change to her hometown
• Sarah Yee, a Sacramento resident, and recent graduate of Mira Loma High School, raised awareness for cancer fund-raising because her father died of Glioblastoma, a severe form of brain cancer
• William Gasaway, a Sacramento resident, and recent graduate of Rio Linda High School, ran a student store and created a school clothing line through ROP class
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.
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. This program demonstrates Bank of America’s long-standing belief that investing in leadership and fostering a culture of service is a way to revitalize the economic and social health of communities.
In addition to the paid internships, the students will attend a weeklong Bank of America Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC in July. Through participation in a service learning project and a series of interactive workshops, including Capitol Hill briefings, sessions on financial education and leadership development skills, the students will gain a deeper understanding of how service creates positive change and how corporate, nonprofit and government collaboration revitalize communities.
Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way across more than 100 markets around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create shared value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/opportunity
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