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Fallbrook student named Bank of America Student Leader

SAN DIEGO – Bank of America announced three high school students and one recent graduate were selected as Student Leaders, an eight-week paid summer internship providing students with first-hand experience in serving their communities.

These students are working with local nonprofit Just in Time for Foster Youth, earning $17 per hour. They also receive a Chromebook as part of the program and will have the option to voluntarily participate in in-person activities as part of the internship.

Only about one in three teens in San Diego are a part of the workforce, a number that has been steadily declining since 2000. 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 Rick Bregman, president, Bank of America San Diego. "These students are the future of San Diego, 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."

The Class of 2022 San Diego Bank of America Student Leaders are:

• Itsarely Palma Castillo recently graduated from Fallbrook High School and will be attending San Marcos State University in the fall, the first in her family to attend college. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is a committed volunteer leader, serving as a tutor for the local library, art programs and park cleanups.

• Nathalie Cedillo is an incoming senior at Escondido High on track to be a first-generation college student. She actively volunteers with the homeless, animal shelters and low-income families. She has also spent time tutoring and participating with her school cross country team and Young Women in Biology club. She plans to work in medicine and help bring health insurance and medical care to low-income families.

• Diana Garcia is an incoming senior at San Diego High School of Business and Leadership. She is highly active as a library volunteer, summer tutor, student aid helper and consistently collects donations for those affected by homelessness. She also is trilingual - speaking Spanish, German and English.

• David Zheng is an incoming senior at Sweetwater Union High, a first-generation Cantonese student. He was elected student body vice president and is president of the school's First-Generation Scholars Club. With parents who only speak Chinese and do not hold high school diplomas, David is passionate about the importance of higher education and hopes to create a nonprofit to help students achieve higher education.

Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. The San Diego-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused project with Just in Time for Foster Youth. They will also participate in a virtual Leadership Summit led by the Close Up Foundation and will include opportunities to engage with members of Congress, hear from civil and human rights leaders, and the Stanford University Young Democracy at Home program which encourages conversation about current issues facing young people today.


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