The following article was recently published in The Orlando Times Newspaper:
Local Students Gain Valuable Banking Knowledge
Summer internships have a new curriculum in Central Florida for students. At Bank of America, four recent Jones High School graduates gained experience in banking and customer relations.
Equipped with iPads, the interns showed customers the benefits and conveniences of mobile and online banking as well as how easy it is to use ATMs. The internship program is part of Bank of America's national Summer Youth Employment Initiative, which the bank funded locally through a $25,000 grant to the city's Parramore Kidz Zone. Criteria for landing a banking internship included a student's academic excellence, community service and desire to pursue a career in business.
It's the programs second year in Orlando, based on a thirteen city model across the nation. "This program is designed to provide 130 high school seniors with the opportunity to not only gain work experience in a professional environment but it also gives them an opportunity to educate consumers on financial wellness activities," said Brian Chilton, consumer market manager for Bank of America in Orlando. Chilton met with the students by teleconference weekly and visited each of their banking centers every Friday. The four students were stationed at Bank of America locations on the east side of town. "Our strategy is to help consumers find better banking options," Chilton said.The students were also privy to a curriculum during their seven week, twenty-three hour a week internship. The course instructed them on basic banking, identity theft, investing and methods of paying for college and budgeting.
All members of historic Jones High School's Class of 2013, the interns are Michael Miller, Natalie Graham, Laneseia Davis and Alexandria Carswell. Miller and Graham sat down for an interview with The Orlando Times Newspaper about their experiences."It's been a journey that I could never forget," Graham said. Graham volunteers with the Parramore Kidz Zone and other community organizations, including Basic Growth and the Outreach Club. She plans to attend Hampton University in Virginia and major in business. "I didn't know much before about how banking worked, but the interactions with customers opened my eyes." Miller said of his experiences: "Working at the bank taught me to not be one dimensional and that the bank is a bigger business than a place that just holds money for you." Miller said his most enjoyable experiences were when he could help customers and turn the occasional negative situation into a positive one with people's financial decisions.
In high school, Miller played defensive end on the varsity football team, earning him an athletic scholarship to Mars Hill College in western North Carolina. Miller and his father helped distribute food during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.Carswell will attend Tallahassee Community College in the fall, with plans of pursuing a career in hotel management. Davis will attend Florida A&M University and aspires to become an entrepreneur.
The four students earned a combined twenty college scholarships, according to Chilton.
Matthew Daily, the Southeast Region Media Relations Manager for Bank of America, said the Summer Youth Employment Initiative supported more than two dozen jobs in Orlando. "We provided students with jobs that may inspire them as they make career choices."The four banking interns completed and graduated from the program.
"We were delighted to have these four young people as our convenient banking ambassadors this summer," said John Moskos, Central Florida market president, Bank of America. "They helped connect our customers to convenient forms of banking, such as using our mobile app and ATMs, and in return they learned a great deal about banking and financial wellness. We hope this internship program positively impacts them as they pursue their educational and career goals."