CIS Story – Bank of America Student Leaders

The Bank of America Student Leaders program connects 225 community-minded high school juniors and seniors to employment, skills development, and service each year. They’re awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofits, including Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and they participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. The Student Leaders program is part of Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to prepare young people for a brighter future. As Communities In Schools interns, Student Leaders work at the CIS ASPIRE Family Literacy camp for four weeks and spend three weeks at the CIS Central Office working on a range of special projects.

Brandon CanalesBrandon Canales says that what most excites him about being a Student Leader intern at Communities In Schools is learning how to help his community, and learning about all the ways CIS supports Central Texas students. During the leadership summit in Washington D.C., he says he was inspired to hear from speakers and his peers about how important it is for young people to speak up and voice their opinions, and to do something to make a difference. Brandon says that his dream job is one that will allow him to “serve, inspire, and change the world.”

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Robby Joseph says he wanted to be a Student Leader with CIS because he wanted to learn about how to help his community. He says, “Not everyone has the same resources when they are growing up and Communities In Schools helps those who need it.” Robby says he is excited to be learning about how nonprofits work, including how they find the money to operate. Making connections has also been a big part of the internship for Robby. He says, “I learned to work and get along with people from different backgrounds and different circumstances and complete fun projects with them. I’ve made many connections.” After high school graduation, Robby says he plans to pursue his dream of becoming a Firefighter, or maybe a politician.

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Finlay Scanlon describes the mission of Communities In Schools as “the constant foundation that students need, a team of people that are there, without judgement, when no one else is.” She says that working at the CIS ASPIRE Family Literacy camp during her Student Leader internship, she saw firsthand why CIS matters. “I’ve learned that I have immense appreciation for other people’s knowledge and stories.” Finlay says that she has a lifelong curiosity for solving the world’s problems. “I take notice and am constantly connecting with people to learn what makes us all human.” After high school, Finlay plans to attend college and major in Political Science or International Studies. She hopes to work at the State Department or the UN, and to fulfill her lifelong dream to be a citizen of the world. Finlay says, “Working at CIS this summer has solidified my passion for people. Working with the kids at ASPIRE didn’t feel like a job, it was something I was passionate about and learned so much from. I am so grateful to have gotten the experience to spend the whole summer doing something I love.”

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Bank of America Student Leader Jeslyn Wegner says the Communities In Schools mission is important because today’s children are tomorrow’s adults. “Our children are important and they need and deserve to be taken care of,” she explains.  Jeslyn says she is excited to learn about the needs of the people and children in her community through her internship and to take away professional work experience. When asked what she plans to do in the future, she says, “I want to become a mechanical engineer. I enjoy doing math and hope to help people while doing what I love.” 

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Zachary Price was in a similar summer leadership program with Mayor Adler’s office in 2015. He says, “When I saw this Student Leader program, I was excited to see how nonprofits tackle the issues I was able to identify on a citywide level the previous summer.” Zachary says that the internship at CIS gave him a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of a nonprofit and about the unique challenges faced by nonprofits and how hard they work to improve the community. He says, “I’ve always known that I wanted to make a difference in my community. My dream job is in politics, so that I can draft policy that has a tangible effect on the problems facing our country.”

 

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