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PKZ Youth Bring Home the Gold! 
Sueling Dragons Boat
Dueling Dragons Boat
Recently a group of youth from Parramore Kidz Zone traveled to Toronto to compete in the GWN International Dragon Boat Challenge. It was the first time most of them had been on a plane and for some, the first time out of Orlando. The PKZ youth participate in the Cops and Kids program sponsored by the Orlando Rowing Club and row with the Dueling Dragons of Orlando team. They train alongside Orlando police officers and at-risk youth from other parts of the city.

Under the leadership of the team's founder Andrea Eliscu, the group raised $35,000 to cover all travel expenses. According to Andrea, "The kids were treated like rock stars at the Dragon Boat Challenge. Everywhere they went people wanted to meet and take pictures with them. Their contagious spirit and gracious behavior was the talk of the racing village."

The team returned home with several gold medals and are already back on the water practicing for the Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival which will be held at Walt Disney World on October 19th.

Congratulations to the Dueling Dragons! 
 
Summer Internships and College Scholarships for PKZ Seniors! 
Michael Miller, Natalie Graham, Laneseia Davis, Alexandria Carswell
Michael Miller, Natalie Graham, Laneseia Davis, Alexandria Carswell

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."