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Ventura/Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo, Calif. – Bank of America today announced four local high school juniors and seniors from Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have been selected as Student Leaders® (#BofAStudentLeaders), where they will participate in an eight-week paid summer internship providing the students with first-hand experience in serving their communities. As part of the program, the students will develop leadership and practical workforce skills while working with local nonprofits Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and Habitat for Humanity San Luis Obispo County, all while earning $17 per hour. 

“With changing economic environments and a shifting job market in the region, young people need access to workforce experience and career skills-building opportunities,” said Midge Campbell-Thomas, president, Bank of America Ventura and Santa Barbara. “The private sector has a role to play to help better position and support young adults to be successful in today’s workforce.”

“These impressive students already excel inside and outside the classroom. By providing them with pathways to gain work skills and leadership experience, they will be prepared for today’s evolving workforce,” said Greg Bland, president, Bank of America San Luis Obispo.

The class of 2023 Bank of America Student Leaders are:

  • Carlos Gonzales of Santa Maria is a recent graduate of Ernest Righetti High School. As an AP student, head of several student organizations, and community volunteer, Carlos is a true leader. Inspired by his hard-working mother who immigrated from Mexico, he is an advocate for marginalized communities and a passioned mentor for young people, volunteering hundreds of hours with local charities like Youth Making Change, which provides grants to local youth-led organizations and Latinos Unidos that educates all backgrounds about Latino culture and to seek academic and economic excellence. Carlos will be attending UC Berkley in the Fall.
  • Elijah “Eli” Marsalek of Arroyo Grande is a recent graduate of Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School. As Senior Class Vice President, Co-Captain of the cross-country team, honor roll and AP student with a 4.74 GPA, and lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation program for his academic achievements, Eli has  volunteered nearly 200 hours of community and school service, including mentoring other students. Inspired by his grandmother who spent her life giving back as an ER nurse and RN, he aspires to study humanitarian and international law to help underserved communities and pursue a career in the non-profit sector. He will attend Boston College in Fall.
  • Micah Shin of Newbury Park is a rising senior at Newbury Park High School. In addition to excelling academically, she is an athlete and a leader in numerous community service projects. Growing up first-generation American in a Korean household, Micah’s parents had a non-typical cultural mindset that encouraged their daughters to do everything boys could do. This inspired Micah to become a Youth Delegate for the Annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, intern at the UN Women Los Angeles Chapter, researcher at the Women’s Microfinance Initiative, and board member of “Invest in Her,” a student-led nonprofit dedicated to closing the gender gap in economics and leadership.
  • Aliza Weintraub of San Luis Obispo is a rising senior at San Luis Obispo High School. An excellent student who balances her AP classes with extracurricular commitments, Aliza is a member of the National Honors Society, an involved leader of the student body and volunteers for multiple nonprofit organizations including Rotary Club, SLO Food Bank, Jack’s Helping Hand (an organization which helps provide support and medical care to children with special needs and cancer) and Transitions Mental Health. Aliza’s altruistic outlook and dedication to volunteerism stems from her grandmother, a Bangladesh immigrant, and her parents, both who are active volunteers in the community and instilled in her the importance of helping others.  

The Student Leaders program annually recognizes 300 or more community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S.  Locally, since 2019, the Ventura/Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo markets have engaged 18 Student Leaders in the program.  This year alone the bank is also connecting more than 3,400 teens and young adults nationwide to summer jobs through partnerships with 91 nonprofits.


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