Paid Summer Internships Connects Knoxville Youth to Career Building Opportunities
Bank of America announced two Knoxville high school seniors were selected as StudentLeaders® (#BofAStudentLeaders), an eight-week summer internship providing students with first-hand experience in serving their communities. These students have started their paid internship experience of workforce skills, leadership, and civic engagement with local nonprofits, including The Restoration House of East Tennessee. As part of the program, they will earn $17 per hour and receive a Chromebook. This year, students will have the option to voluntarily participate in in-person activities as part of the internship.
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. Along with the Student Leaders program, Bank of America is connecting teens and young adults to paid jobs and internships across Knoxville with Knoxville Leadership Foundation’s KnoxWorx Program, Big Brothers BigSisters of East Tennessee’s Little Intern Program, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley’s YouthForceProgram as part of its commitment to workforce development as a pathway to economic mobility.
“Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults by connecting them to jobs, community engagement opportunities and leadership development,” said Terry Cline, president, Bank of America Knoxville. “We recognize young adults are the future of Knoxville, which is why programs like Student Leaders are one way we can provide paid opportunities for students to gain job experience while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter the local workforce.”
The Class of 2022 Knoxville Bank of America Student Leaders are:
• Perri-Hann Mahfouz, Senior, Webb School of Knoxville
• Elijah McGinnis, Senior, Hardin Valley Academy
These students were selected for their leadership, background, passion and commitment to community.
• Mahfouz is founder and CEO of the nonprofit Heals with Meals which teaches kids the correlation between self-esteem and nutrition while also providing nutritious foods for underserved children. Heal with Meals is centered around the concept of wellness and the social justice issue of malnutrition in food deserted areas. She also teaches young girls about nutrition through Girls, Inc. and tutors her peers in writing and English.
• McGinnis serves as President of the District Youth Council for the A.M.E. Zion Church where he is responsible for implementing youth programs and ensuring that youth concerns are heard. He spearheaded environmental cleanup projects among his peers. McGinnis also serves as a leader in his school’s marching band, concert band, and percussion ensemble, where he was chosen as the percussion Section Leader.
Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. The Knoxville-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a
collaborative, mentor-focused project with The Restoration House to play a crucial role in developing the elementary and middle school-aged youth at The Restoration House through Emerald Youth Foundation’s
JustLead summer program. Interns will be trained in trauma-responsive practices and assist in program planning, execution, and mentoring elementary and middle school students. Bank of America Student Leaders
will also participate in a virtual Leadership Summit, delivered in partnership with the Close Up Foundation. The Summit will include opportunities to engage with congressional leaders, hear from leaders in civil and human
rights and the Stanford University Young Democracy at Home program which encourages conversation about current issues facing young people today.