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In addition to Bank of America’s generous financial support for our job readiness and education programs, we receive a paid summer intern each year as part of the Bank’s Student Leaders® program. An essential component of its investments in the communities it serves, Bank of America’s Student Leaders program provides young leaders with the opportunity to learn about how government, the private and public sectors intersect to address community issues. As part of the 8-week program, the Student Leaders also come together with more than 200 others from around the country for a leadership summit in Washington D.C.

This summer, Student Leader Jaida Fonfield is spending eight weeks as a paid intern at our Charlestown Club where she will develop and apply leadership skills through direct service with our members. We asked Jaida to share her thoughts about the Student Leaders program and to tell us what inspires her about BGCB:

Describe the mission of BGCB in your own words.

The BGCB mission is to put children on the path to having a great future and to ensure that they have all the tools possible to make it a reality.

Why is this mission important to you personally?

I believe that what BGCB is doing is exemplary and something I strongly believe in. I want all children to succeed and that is something I am passionate about. I believe in equality and making sure all children have the same opportunities as the next. BGCB is great for bridging the gap for those who may not be able to access those valuable resources.

What are you most excited about learning at BGCB?  What have you learned during your internship?

I am most excited about seeing how BGCB is able to help children of all backgrounds effectively. I have learned that BGCB is accepting of all and always willing to make a way and help anyone.

What was your biggest take-away from the Student Leadership Summit?

My biggest take-away from the summit was to use what you have to make a positive impact and network to make it all possible. Your dreams of helping don’t always have to start off big. They can begin with giving away one simple teddy and building from there. Those words meant a lot to me because I always think big and get lost on how I can start.

How did you hear about Bank of America’s Student Leader program and why did you want to participate?

I received an email about the program a week before the deadline and I immediately was interested and began my research on it. After thorough research that Friday night I was convinced that it was what I wanted to spend my summer doing. My job at a sneaker store was not doing anything for me in terms of growing my skills, so I knew after almost two years there it was time to go. I quickly applied and awaited a response. What drew me to the program was that it was big on serving, inspiring, and changing which are what I strongly believe in myself. The program reflected what I was currently doing and what I wanted to do in the future which was to serve, inspire, and change my community.

At the end of the internship, what do you hope to walk away with? 

I hope to walk away with more confidence to get out in my community and do something. Before the start of my internship, the community I had helped out most was Lexington, where I went to school in. So, it will be helpful to now take everything I learn and help out the community in which I live.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to work in finance and help businesses build themselves to be successful in a competitive environment. Furthermore, I would love to begin my own foundation to acknowledge the unrecognized scholars and hard workers in the community to push to be better individuals. I want to show them to give back to other students and educate them about how important education is. My community lacks leaders and mentors and I want to create that for our younger generation to see.