Bank of America has announced that the two Maine students selected as Student Leaders (#BofAStudentLeaders) have started their paid summer internship experience of workforce skills, leadership and civic engagement with local nonprofits Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and United Way of Southern Maine. This year, students have the option to voluntarily participate in in-person activities as part of the internship.

Without access to career skills-building opportunities like the Student Leaders program, many young people may be left behind from a fast-changing job market, leading to higher rates of youth unemployment.

“Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults by connecting them to jobs, community engagement and leadership development opportunities,” said Bill Williamson, president, Bank of America Maine. “We recognize young adults are the future of our community, which is why programs like Student Leaders are one way we can provide paid opportunities for students to gain job experience while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter the local workforce.”

The Class of 2021 Maine Bank of America Student Leaders are:

•Abby Jennings, a rising junior at Cheverus High School, interning at Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine

•Jamal Osei, a rising junior at Cheverus High School, interning with United Way of Southern Maine

The Student Leaders program, which started in 2004, recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. The Maine-based Student Leaders will engage in an eight-week paid internship and participate in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused project working closely with Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and United Way of Southern Maine.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine provides youth development programs for young people. Their Clubhouses serve as safe places to learn, have fun and develop skills and interests that last a lifetime. Jennings has been supporting the organization’s 21st-century summer program at King Middle School, which helps students with reading and math during the summer months. Jennings also helps with Brain Gain, a data-driven program proven to help kids’ reading and literacy development stay on track while they’re away from school during summer.

United Way of Southern Maine’s mission is to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of their community. They are uniting individuals and organizations around our community’s shared vision, Thrive2027, three 10-year goals to improve education, financial stability and health for every person in Southern Maine. Osei has been assisting with multiple projects throughout the organization.

In addition to their work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and United Way of Southern Maine, Jennings and Osei will participate virtually in sessions on the vital role nonprofits play in advancing community health and the importance of public-private partnerships to drive social change while building financial acumen. The Student Leaders also take part in a virtual Summit in partnership with the Close Up Foundation to participate in Stanford University’s Young Democracy at Home program, which encourages conversation about current issues facing young people today.