Two students from the San Fernando Valley, Chris Lim and Nathalia Bautista, are among a group of five Los Angeles-based students who have been chosen for the competitive Bank of America Student Leaders program.
Lim, a Burbank resident and rising senior at John Burroughs High School, and Bautista, a Pacoima resident and rising senior at PUC Community Charter Early College High School, were selected to be in an eight-week paid summer internship program that provides students with first-hand experience in serving their communities.
Lim is working with the nonprofit Boys and Girls Club of Burbank, and Bautista is working with Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. As part of the internship, they are earning $17 per hour, received a Chromebook and have the option to voluntarily participate in in-person activities.
As a child of two immigrant Filipino parents, Lim recognized early on he wasn’t always treated equally by his peers – inspiring him to become an active member of the Burbank Student Mental Health Board to advocate for behavioral health awareness and resources to its members and the community. He is also a leader with his school’s Academic Mentor program, helping to build participation to become one of the school’s largest student organizations.
Living in a primarily immigrant community,Nathalia saw firsthand families struggle to provide education and college opportunities for their children due to not knowing the resources and financial aid available. As the first in her family to attend college, and after seeing her own family struggle with the cost of education and extracurricular activities, she is driven to educate students about resources to help them chart a path to college.
The labor market and employment rates are recovering from job gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the joblessness rate in Los Angeles County falling to 3.94% in May, below pre-pandemic levels. 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 is steadfast in our commitment to supporting teens and young adults by connecting them to jobs, community engagement opportunities and leadership development,” said Raul A. Anaya, president of Bank of America Los Angeles. “These adults are the future of Los Angeles, which is why programs like Student Leaders are one way we can provide paid opportunities for them to gain positive employment experience while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter our local workforce.”
Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the US. The Los Angeles-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused project with five local organizations.
They will also participate in a virtual Leadership Summit led by the Close Up Foundation, engage with members of Congress, hear from civil and human rights leaders and participate in the Stanford University Young Democracy at Home program which encourages conversation about current issues facing young people today.