NASHVILLE – Bank of America today announced that four Nashville area high school juniors and seniors were selected as Student Leaders® (#BofAStudentLeaders). The Student Leaders program is an eight-week paid summer internship providing students with first-hand experience in serving their communities.
As part of the program, Nashville Student Leaders are co-leading some of the Oasis Center’s most dynamic summer youth programming that includes engaging first-generation immigrants and refugee youth with their community, assisting Nashville high school students with identifying and understanding a path following graduation, and providing programming at the “Just Camp,” dedicated to creating a community for LGBTQ youth. They will earn $17 per hour and receive a Chromebook as part of their Student Leader programming.
Without access to career skills-building opportunities like the Student Leaders program, many young people may be left behind from a fast-changing job market, leading to higher rates of youth unemployment.
“Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults by connecting them to jobs, community engagement opportunities and leadership development,” said Tyson Moore, president, Bank of America Nashville. “We recognize young adults are the future of Nashville, which is why programs like Student Leaders are vital in providing paid opportunities for students to gain job experience, while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter the local workforce.”
The Class of 2022 Nashville Bank of America Student Leaders are:
- Varun Bussa, Brentwood, Ravenwood High School Junior
- Bao Le,Nashville, Glencliff High School Junior
- Kermina Wadeh, Antioch, Martin Luther King Jr High School Senior
- Kathryn Webber, Murfreesboro, Central Magnet High School Junior
These students were selected for their leadership, background, passion and commitment to community.
Varun Bussa is dedicated to helping younger students succeed in STEM. He volunteers each weekend to teach a group of 20 students about STEM concepts at the Robotix Institute. Under his guidance, the middle school robotics team he coaches advanced to a world championship competition. He also founded the Coding Community Club at his school and serves on the Brentwood Library Teen Advisory Board, the Indian Association of Nashville Youth Committee, and the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin.
Bao Le serves as the CFO and Tennessee President of the national organization Teens United that helps distribute food to homeless and low-income communities. He also is a leader in his school’s Student Government Association and was selected to serve on Mayor John Cooper’s Youth Council. He volunteers as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Junior Economic Club of Nashville with the goal of promoting a generation of effective leaders through economic and financial literacy and acted as an editor to the Junior Economist publication.
Kermina Wadeh also serves on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Youth Council to provide a first-generation American’s perspective and ideas on how city policies impact her and her peers. In addition to speaking English and Arabic, she also volunteers with the Spanish National Honor Society as an after-school Spanish tutor. She teaches a 2nd-grade class spiritual lessons at her church each week and volunteers at the children's division at the Nashville Public Library to contribute to her community that once assisted her family as newcomers from Egypt.
Kathryn Webber is passionate about ending food insecurity and improving her community. She dedicates hundreds of hours of her time to local food banks, her public library’s teen advisory board, and her school’s writing lab and coding academy. Her desire to be a part of solutions to problems motivated her to serve as Student Council Class President for two years.
Since 2004, the Student Leaders program has recognized 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. This year’s Bank of America Student Leaders will also participate in a virtual Leadership Summit, delivered in partnership with the Close Up Foundation. The Summit will include opportunities to engage with congressional leaders, hear from changemakers in civil and human rights and participate in the Stanford University Young Democracy at Home program, which encourages conversation about current issues facing young people today.