Bank of America Student Leaders: 11 Reasons to Apply

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of people talking in front of a building.

Bank of America Student Leaders: 11 Reasons to Apply

The Bank of America Student Leaders program is a unique opportunity for high schoolers to gain practical experience and leadership skills. Since its inception in 2004, the program has been dedicated to nurturing a diverse pipeline of community-minded young leaders ready to tackle the workforce’s challenges and contribute to societal progress.

Here’s an in-depth look at why applying to the Bank of America Student Leaders program could be one of the best decisions for ambitious students. Read on to learn more!

Bank of America Student Leaders: 11 Reasons to Apply

Bank of America’s Student Leaders program offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to step into professional development and community service. Designed to foster the next generation of leaders, this initiative combines practical experience with in-depth learning to prepare participants for future success.

Here are 11 reasons why applying to the Bank of America Student Leaders program could be a transformative experience for ambitious students.

Group of people talking while using a laptop.

1. Gaining Professional Experience

A cornerstone of the Bank of America Student Leaders program is its 8-week paid internship with local nonprofits, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity. These internships offer students a close look at how nonprofit organizations address community needs and allow them to contribute meaningfully to various projects.

Beyond the practical skills gained, students develop essential soft skills like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving while earning an income and emphasizing the program’s commitment to supporting young people’s economic mobility.

2. Leadership Development Beyond the Classroom

Another key aspect of the program is the week-long Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. This summit brings student leaders from across the country together to learn about public policy, community engagement, and leadership through workshops and discussions. It’s an opportunity for students to see how different sectors work together to solve societal issues and to network with peers and professionals, broadening their understanding of leadership in a community context.

3. National Summit

A highlight of the Bank of America Student Leaders program is the week-long leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Scheduled from July 22-27, 2024. This summit immerses students in a comprehensive learning experience, revealing how government, businesses, and nonprofits work together to address societal needs.

The fully funded summit enables participants to engage with leaders, gain insights into policy-making, and explore civic engagement, fostering a deeper understanding of their potential impact on society.

4. Community Impact

The program’s core focuses on community impact through internships with local nonprofits. These offer students a firsthand look at their communities’ challenges and nonprofits’ vital role in addressing them. Students work 35 hours a week, applying their skills, learning about service and leadership, and seeing the effects of their contributions.

5. Networking Opportunities

One of the program’s key benefits is its vast networking opportunities. Participants meet peers and professionals nationwide, offering a rich pool of mentors, future collaborators, and potential employers. This network, built through interactions at local nonprofits and a leadership summit in Washington, D.C., can significantly influence participants’ career paths and future endeavors.

6. Skill Enhancement

The program emphasizes skill development in project management, communication, and teamwork through practical experience. This allows students to apply these skills in real-world settings.

Furthermore, the leadership summit provides insights into the collaboration between government, business, and nonprofit sectors, enhancing students’ understanding of civic, social, and business leadership.

7. Exposure to Policymaking

The Bank of America Student Leaders program offers a unique learning opportunity about the legislative process and public policy. This part of the program isn’t just a trip; it explores how American democracy and policymaking work. Students witness how policies are formed and see the discussion and implementation at the highest government levels.

It includes workshops, talks, and discussions covering a broad spectrum of topics, from how laws are made to creating public policies. These sessions are run by experienced professionals and leaders, giving students a rare look into government operations and encouraging them to engage in discussions on important societal issues.

This opportunity helps students understand the significance of involvement in civic matters and how young leaders can impact public policy. It also allows them to meet like-minded peers, expanding their networks and encouraging them to work together on community projects.

a group of students enjoying social life

8. Scholarship Opportunities

Being part of the Bank of America Student Leaders program also opens scholarship opportunities and strengthens participants’ resumes and college applications. Being selected for this prestigious program signals to colleges and scholarship boards that a student has outstanding leadership skills and a dedication to community service.

This experience stands out on college applications, showing that a student has practical leadership and community engagement experience. This is appealing to competitive colleges looking for candidates who show initiative and can make an impact.

The skills gained from the program are valuable for college and beyond, making participants more attractive for scholarships that can reduce the cost of education.

9. Diverse Perspectives

The program gathers students from various backgrounds, providing a rich environment for learning and exchange. Participants come from across the United States, bringing unique experiences and ideas.

This diversity enhances discussions, broadens understanding, and encourages students to think about global issues while working on local projects. It’s an invaluable experience that opens minds and fosters inclusivity.

10. Mentorship

One of the key benefits of the Bank of America Student Leaders program is the mentorship from seasoned professionals in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. This guidance is vital, offering students real-world insights and advice.

Mentors act as role models, offering support and feedback to help young leaders grow. This relationship is a foundation for professional and personal development, providing a network of support that students can rely on as they navigate their futures.

11. Inspiration for Future Careers

The program offers a window into potential public service and nonprofit management careers. Students learn about these sectors’ critical societal roles, witnessing firsthand how businesses, governments, and nonprofits collaborate to address community needs.

This experience can be a turning point, inspiring students to consider careers where they can contribute positively to society. It shows that a fulfilling career can also center on making a significant impact.

What is the Bank of America Student Leaders?

The Bank of America Student Leaders program is a pioneering effort to mold future leaders by combining leadership training, work experience, and understanding how nonprofits, governments, and businesses work together. Launched in 2004, this initiative reflects Bank of America’s dedication to promoting youth employment and economic mobility, preparing students for success in the workforce.

Each year, the program connects over 300 ambitious high school juniors and seniors from various backgrounds with paid internships at local nonprofits. These students gain firsthand experience in community service and leadership, participating in projects that directly benefit their communities.

They also attend a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C., where they learn about the collaborative efforts needed to address societal challenges. The application process encourages students to demonstrate their commitment to leadership and community service.

A key requirement is a letter of recommendation from a school official, which underscores the student’s achievements and suitability for the program. This comprehensive approach ensures that selected participants are well-placed to benefit from and contribute to the program’s objectives.

Participating in the Bank of America Student Leaders program is about gaining work experience and joining a community of young leaders committed to making a difference. The program offers invaluable leadership, teamwork, and societal problem-solving lessons, equipping students with the skills to lead in their communities and beyond. It’s an exceptional opportunity for any high school student eager to impact the world positively.

Who is Eligible to Apply and Participate?

The Bank of America Student Leaders program is aimed at high school juniors and seniors, offering them a chance to learn about community service and leadership through practical experience. This program is specific about who can apply to ensure the selected students gain the most from the experience. Let’s simplify the eligibility requirements and what the program offers.

Group of middle school students talking in a table.

  • High School Requirement: You must be a junior or senior in high school to apply. This timing ensures that the program impacts your personal and academic development when it matters most.
  • Work Authorization: Applicants must have the legal right to work in the U.S. without a work visa. This is important because the program includes a paid internship.
  • Program Commitment: You should be able to dedicate 35 hours a week for an 8-week paid internship at a local nonprofit. This hands-on experience is crucial for learning about community service and leadership. Additionally, you must attend a week-long Washington, D.C. summit from July 22-27, 2024, a key part of the learning experience. The program covers all related expenses.
  • Academic and Residence Requirements: Students must be doing well in school and live in one of the areas where the program is available. This ensures the program is accessible to students from various communities nationwide.
  • Previous Participation: You can apply if you’ve never been selected for the Bank of America Student Leaders program. However, if you’ve applied in the past and weren’t selected, you’re welcome to apply again, provided you meet the other requirements.
  • Exclusions: Employees of Bank of America and their immediate family members cannot apply. This rule helps keep the selection process fair and open to a broad group of students.

For eligible students, joining the Bank of America Student Leaders program is a chance to make a real difference in their communities. It offers valuable insights into how nonprofits work and how leadership skills can be applied in real-world situations. Participants leave the program with a deep understanding of the value of community service and the role of leadership in making positive changes.

Where does the Student Leader program operate?

The Bank of America Student Leaders program operates across various locations in the United States, ensuring a broad reach and impact. Here are the states and districts where the program is available:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

The Impact of Bank of America Student Leaders on Communities

The Bank of America Student Leaders program not only significantly benefits the students who participate but also leaves a lasting impact on communities nationwide. By engaging in service and leadership, these young individuals play a pivotal role in addressing local needs and fostering a culture of civic engagement.

Strengthening Nonprofit Capacities

Student Leaders are placed in paid internships with nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity. These organizations can enhance their services and reach through their contributions, benefiting countless individuals and families in need. Students’ fresh perspectives and energy can lead to innovative solutions and improved program effectiveness.

Encouraging Youth Engagement

Student Leaders’ visibility in the community is a powerful catalyst for other young people to get involved in service and volunteerism. Witnessing their peers leading by example demystifies the concept of community service and highlights the impact that individuals, regardless of age, can make.

students looking at the laptop about the social life at Columbia

Addressing Societal Issues

By focusing on critical areas such as economic mobility, education, and health, Student Leaders contribute directly to alleviating some of the most pressing challenges facing their communities. Their work supports the broader efforts of local nonprofits and community organizations to create sustainable change.

Promoting Collaboration

The program exemplifies how partnerships between the corporate sector, nonprofits, and the community can lead to meaningful progress in addressing societal issues. It encourages a collaborative approach to problem-solving that can serve as a model for other initiatives.

Fostering Future Leaders

Perhaps the most significant impact of the Bank of America Student Leaders program is the development of a pipeline of informed, engaged, and capable future leaders.

By investing in the growth and education of these students, the program ensures that communities will benefit from their leadership, vision, and service for years to come.


The Bank of America Student Leaders program is an exceptional opportunity for high school students passionate about community service and leadership.

With its comprehensive approach to developing young leaders, the program offers invaluable experiences that prepare students for successful careers while enabling them to impact their communities significantly.

Whether through professional development, community service, or the national leadership summit, Student Leaders are empowered to create positive change, making this program a must-apply for aspiring leaders.

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