Monday, July 2, 2012

Wyandotte High School graduate to take place in 2012 Student Leaders program

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced that five Kansas City-area high school students 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.

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 Spence Heddens, Kansas City president for Bank of America. “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 Kansas City during a time when an increased number of people need assistance.”

Despite gains in the overall job market, one out of every four U.S. job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 is still unable to find employment. Last summer, 29.8 percent of Missouri teens aged 16 to 19 were unemployed and 45.8 percent were unable to get the summer work they desired, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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.  Overall unemployment in Kansas City was 6.9 percent in May.

All of the Kansas City-area Student Leaders will be interning with the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City at the organization’s headquarters and in the field.

Participating local students are:

Ida Ayalew, a Blue Springs resident, and recent graduate of Blue Springs High School
Dylan Geary, a Leawood resident, and rising senior at Blue Valley North High School
Haley Crane, a Peculiar resident, and recent graduate of Raymore-Peculiar High School
Zachary Hardwick, a Kansas City resident, and recent graduate of Rockhurst High School
Jillan Anderson, a Kansas City resident, and recent graduate of Wyandotte High School