Bank of America Announces 2023 Phoenix Student Leaders

June 5, 2023

Bank of America Announces 2023 Phoenix Student Leaders
Paid Summer Internships Connects Phoenix Teens to Career Building Opportunities

PHOENIX – Bank of America today announced five incoming Phoenix high school juniors and seniors were selected as
Student Leaders® (#BofAStudentLeaders), an eight-week paid summer internship providing students with first-hand
experience in serving their communities. As part of the program, the students will develop leadership and practical
workforce skills while working with Boys and Girls Club of the Valley.
According to a recent study by the University of Arizona, Arizona has an above average rate of “disconnected youth” or
youth that are neither employed nor in school, which can have impacts like substance abuse, mental health issues and
impede their overall success. 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 partnering with Year Up to connect teens and young adults to paid jobs and internships within Bank
of America.
“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 Phoenix’s long-term economic growth,” said Scott Vanderpool,
president, Bank of America Phoenix. “The teens selected for this paid summer intern program are truly extraordinary,
but may not have had access to opportunities like this until now. 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 Phoenix Bank of America Student Leaders are:
• Peoria-based, Adrija Rukmini is from BASIS Peoria and co-founded the Smiles for All Initiative, which after a year
of online schooling, was intended to help bring positivity to the community. Smiles for All Initiative partnered
with the Harvest Compassion Center, a food and clothing assistance program, to lead fundraising efforts in order
to donate backpacks and school supplies for students’ return in person schooling after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a Bank of America Student Leader, Adrija hopes to strengthen her leadership skills and broaden her impact
on the community by advocating for equity in education.
• Avondale-based Mariama Camara is from Agua Fria High School and serves as the Chairperson of the Avondale
Youth Advisory Commission by sharing youth passions and concerns with the Avondale city council to ensure
their voices are heard. As a Bank of America Student Leader, she hopes to learn how to address mental health
issues and racism she sees in her community.
• Phoenix-based Nathaniel George is from Brophy College Preparatory and is the founder and president of Brophy
Young Entrepreneurs Club. He also founded the Cactus Flower Initiative for Youth Entrepreneurship, which
provides free entrepreneurship resources to youth across the greater Phoenix community. He hopes to learn
advocacy skills as a Bank of America Student Leader, to educate youth on the truly empowering nature of
entrepreneurship and innovation and inspire them to lead change in their own communities.
• Phoenix-based Sonya Colattur is from Xavier College Preparatory and founded her own nonprofit in 2016,
GrandPaws Pantry. The organization provides pet supplies to companion pets of senior citizens living in assisted

living facilities. Through GrandPaws Pantry, Sonya has provided over 1,000 pet care packages per year and
received congressional recognition for her services. As a Bank of America Student Leader Sonya hopes to
develop skills that will enable her to expand her non-profit organization and strengthen her leadership ability.
• Phoenix-based Blanca Arizmendi is from Academies at South Mountain Campus and is the Marketing and
Activities chair for the Be A Leader club at her school. Be A Leader helps students prepare for pursuing higher
education opportunities, which is close to Blanca’s interests as a soon-to-be first-generation college graduate.
Blanca hopes to hone her leadership skills, meet like-minded peers and leaders, and bring what she learns as a
Bank of America Student Leader back to her community to make a difference.
The Phoenix-based Student Leaders are participating in programming that includes a collaborative, mentor-focused
project with the Boys and Girls Club of the Valley to work directly with staff and teens in a service-learning project such
as LEAP (which helps address the equity gap by increasing youth and teen social emotional learning (SEL) and academic
success opportunities using proven, evidence-informed programming), STEAM activities (an approach to learning that
uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue,
and critical thinking), and Money Matters (a program will help children develop the confidence and decision-making
skills necessary to make sound financial decisions throughout their life), all while building essential workforce experience
and leadership skills. They will be responsible for planning and implementation of activities for teens.
Later this summer, Student Leaders will travel to Washington D.C. 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.
Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the
U.S. annually.


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.
For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, register for news
email alerts.
Reporters may contact:
Britney Sheehan, Bank of America
Phone: 1. 425.466.0378

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