Four local students have been busy leading donation drives, mentoring English-learning students, establishing nonprofit organizations, and encouraging girls to code and pursue STEM careers — and now they’re being recognized by Bank of America as this year’s West Palm Beach Student Leaders.
This summer, the students participated in a paid virtual seven-week summer internship. The interns worked with Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County to further its mission of helping high school students achieve academic success while working toward their individual graduation goals. This includes mentorship, creating a strategy to help meet individual needs, inspiring and motivating students, goal setting and ensuring participation.
Among these leaders of the future is Gabrielle Williams of Loxahatchee. Through the help of Philanthropy Tank, Williams is working to establish a service project to help reform youth who have experienced legal issues with the juvenile justice system. Through this community service, she also hopes to teach young people about financial literacy and general life skills.
Williams graduated from Palm Beach Gardens High School and will be attending Florida Atlantic University in the fall as a criminal justice major on a pre-law route.
She has been working on her community service idea with Philanthropy Tank. Her proposal focuses on the reform of at-risk youth. Philanthropy Tank is an organization that funds community service projects beneficial to the local community. Williams hopes to teach the importance of financial literacy to these young people, as well as aspects such as life skills.
Through the Solid Waste Authority, Williams also decided to take upon the role of hosting beach cleanups through the adopt-a-spot program. This was a great way to raise awareness of the importance of keeping the community clean. She learned that small things really do make a difference, regardless of whether or not it is apparent or conspicuous.
Williams is an accomplished saxophonist and pianist who enjoys playing for fun. She enjoys jet skiing, playing basketball, running track, reading, going out to eat and volunteering.
Other honorees were Emma Ratchford of the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Jonathan Beres of Spanish River High School and Raunak Manchanda of the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.