Bank of America recently announced that four Palm Beach County high school juniors and seniors were selected as Student Leaders, an eight-week paid summer internship providing students with first-hand experience in serving their communities. Among the honorees is Jacob Liu of Wellington.
As part of the program, the students will develop leadership and practical workforce skills while working for the local nonprofit Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County, all the while earning $17 per hour.
In Palm Beach County, only 38 percent of residents aged 25 or older have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the latest U.S. Census. With changing economic environments and a shifting job market, young people need access to workforce experience and career skills-building opportunities. The private sector has a role to play to help better position and support young adults to be successful in today’s workforce.
“By providing the pathways and resources for young adults to gain the foundational work skills and leadership experience they need to succeed, we are investing in Palm Beach County’s long-term economic growth,” said Fabiola Brumley, president of Bank of America Palm Beach County. “The teens selected for this paid summer intern program are truly extraordinary but may not have had access to opportunities like this until now. The Student Leaders program is just one example of how we connect people to meaningful employment resources that also builds a stronger pipeline of diverse talent for our local workforce.”
Jacob Liu of Wellington is a student at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, where he serves as the president and co-founder of Venture, a nonprofit organization that provides financial education to underserved children in Palm Beach County. His organization uses educational curriculum and engaging activities to equip youth with the knowledge and skills to make smart economic choices and to plan for their future. Through his leadership, he was able to secure $10,000 in funding through Philanthropy Tank to continue the group’s efforts.
The other 2023 Palm Beach County Bank of America Student Leaders are: Aditya Ananthakrishnan of Jupiter, who is a William T. Dwyer High School student with a devotion to addressing food insecurity throughout Palm Beach County; Ellis Daggs of Jupiter, who is a student at the Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, where he is the founder and president of the school’s Black Student Union; and Marjorie Joseph of Delray Beach, who is a student at Atlantic High School who has been inspired by her mother, who came from Haiti and started a new life here in the U.S.
In mid-July, Student Leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., for a week-long, all-expenses-paid, national leadership summit focused on the power of cross-sector collaboration and community advocacy. At the first in-person Summit since 2019, Student Leaders from across the nation discussed the importance of civic engagement and met with members of Congress.
Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. The Palm Beach County-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a collaborative project with Communities in Schools to engage in each of their program areas.