Paid Summer Internships Connects Lowcountry Teens to Career Building Opportunities
Two Charleston County High School seniors are participating in Bank of America’s Student Leaders® (#BofAStudentLeaders), paid summer internship. Kendra Hollington and Sy’Mone Miles were selected earlier this year for the eight-week program providing local students with first-hand experience in serving their communities. As part of the program, the students will develop leadership and practical workforce skills by working with local nonprofits, including Charleston Promise Neighborhood and the International African American Museum, all while earning $17 per hour.
“By providing the pathways and resources for young adults to gain the foundational work skills and leadership experience they need to succeed, we are investing in the Lowcountry’s long-term economic growth.” said Mark Munn, president, Bank of America Charleston. “The teens selected for this paid summer intern program are truly extraordinary and maximized their opportunity to gain leadership skills while benefitting their community. The Student Leaders program is just one example of how we connect people to meaningful employment resources that also builds a stronger pipeline of diverse talent for our local workforce.”
The class of 2023 Charleston Bank of America Student Leaders are:
- Kendra Hollington, a graduate of Early College High School also gained an associate’s degree from Trident Technical College as part of her academic program. She has plans to attend Winthrop University in the fall to pursue a teaching career. Kendra served as a student ambassador and was a member of the National Honor Society. With a commitment to student advocacy, she helped found the Student Topic Representative Awareness Council (STRAC) to address diverse topics. Outside the classroom, Kendra volunteered as a youth leader of Summer Youth Works at Palmetto Community Action Partnership and as a camp counselor with the Kaleidoscope afterschool program.
- Sy’Mone Miles, a graduate of Early College High School also gained an associate’s degree from Trident Technical College as part of her academic program. She has plans to attend University of South Carolina to pursue a career in film directing and screen writing of cultural films to engage and teach youth. Sy’Mone served in several leadership capacities her senior year, including as Student Government co-president, student ambassador, National Honor Society committee leader, and a teacher shadow. She volunteers with Lowcountry Food Bank. Sy’Mone has a passion for self-betterment and mindfulness to create a positive sense of self-worth among young people that she hopes to inspire.
Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. The Charleston-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused projects with their respective nonprofit partners.
Charleston Promise Neighborhood is providing Kendra an opportunity to shadow leaders focused on three program pillars and wrap-around services – health & wellness, community & family engagement, and education. Kendra’s internship fostered her passion marketing and communications and allowed her to deploy that creativity to help create fresh digital assets and new ways to engage community stakeholders. She had the hands-on opportunity to see how CPN is a conduit in the neighborhood and community it serves and develop her leadership skills through direct engagement.
“Kendra brought a proactive, entrepreneurial spirit to her internship and gained valuable leadership experience. She looked at all angles of how CPN can enhance its narrative and ultimately, further its impact on the Charleston community,” said Charleston Promise Neighborhood Director of Development and Marketing, Lisa Freudenberger. “Kendra has seized every opportunity to deliver CPN’s mission through both digital engagement and direct interactions in the community where she got a firsthand understanding of the rhythm of how CPN works with local service providers and other community partners like Bank of America.”
Sy’Mone spent her summer program with IAAM, where she served as the Museum Education Intern. She worked on various cultural and education projects, including supporting the creation and implementation of key public programs, and the development of additional interpretive materials that will be used to help IAAM further its efforts to tell the unvarnished stories of the African American experience.
“This summer, Sy’Mone Miles served as Museum Education Intern at the International African American Museum (IAAM) and participated in a variety of projects to assist in training individuals on the historical and cultural significance of our site and story,” said Brandon Reid, IAAM Public Historian. “Her support has been invaluable, and we are thankful for her efforts in helping the IAAM to move forward with actualizing its mission and vision.”
Student Leaders traveled to Washington D.C. in mid-July for a week-long, all expenses paid, national leadership summit focused on the power of cross-sector collaboration and community advocacy. At the first in-person Summit since 2019, Student Leaders from across the nation will discuss the importance of civic engagement and meet with members of Congress.
With changing economic environments and a shifting job market, young people need access to workforce experience and career skills-building opportunities. The private sector has a role to play to help better position and support young adults be successful in today’s workforce. Along with the Student Leaders program, Bank of America is supporting programs that connect young adults to paid jobs and internships in partnership with local organizations, such as the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Trident Technical College, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lowcountry.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 56 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.