Bank of America recently announced five local high school juniors and seniors as part of its Student Leaders program. The students will take part in an eight-week paid summer internship, including hands-on community work experience with local nonprofits.
The five chosen nonprofits are Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYE), Boys and Girls Club of Burbank, East LA Community Corp., Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and Long Beach Rescue Mission. Launched in 2004, the Student Leaders program started in 2004 and has recognized 300 juniors and seniors across the U.S.
This year’s Los Angeles Student Leaders are:
Nathalia Bautista attends PUC Community Charter Early College High School and lives in a primarily immigrant community. Nathalia saw firsthand how families struggle to provide education and college opportunities for their children due to not knowing the resources and financial aid available. Nathalia will be the first in her family to attend college, and she is driven to educate students about resources to help them chart a path to college.
[PHOTOS COURTESY OF BANK OF AMERICA.]
Michelle Ifediba attends Bishop Montgomery High School. During her Girl Scout troop’s food drive, Michelle saw local families struggle with hunger. She quickly became an advocate to help children who are experiencing food insecurity. She hopes to one day start her own nonprofit to help students within the Los Angeles Unified School District fight hunger.
Christian Lim attends John Burroughs High School. As a child of two immigrant Filipino parents, Chris realized that he was not always treated equally by his peers. This led him to become an active member of the Burbank Student Mental Health Board to advocate for behavioral health awareness and resources for community members. He is also a leader in his school’s academic mentor program.
Jesael Pastelin attends Esperanza College Prep. Jesael grew up in a predominantly Hispanic, low-income community and experienced resource and funding disparities at his schools. This drove him to volunteer at the East Los Angeles public library and become a mentor to younger students as a way to advocate and support greater access to resources for students. He also hopes to open a nonprofit to address disparities in education within his local community of East Los Angeles.
Hamid Torabzadeh attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and will be attending Brown University in the fall as part of an eight-year undergraduate and medical school program. He plans to become a healthcare professional focusing on social justice advocacy addressing all aspects of physical and mental health. He’s volunteering more than 700 hours with the American Red Cross over four years to train teens about disaster preparedness, and started a Green Schools Campaign with the Long Beach Unified School District, establishing a district goal of using only clean renewable energy.