Richmond teen earns paid internship with Bank of America

2020 Bank of America Student Leader Kassandra Ruiz (Photo contributed)

By Kathy Chouteau

A recent Pinole Valley High School grad has scored a prestigious, paid internship with Bank of America’s (BoA) Student Leaders program.

Richmond resident Kassandra Ruiz, 17, who plans to attend the University of California at Berkeley in the fall with the aim of entering the Business Program, has started her summer internship, which is focused on building her leadership, civic engagement and workforce skills by assisting the Junior Achievement of Northern California through BoA’s program.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and related health-safety concerns, BoA has adapted this year’s six-week internship program to a virtual format. As a student leader, Ruiz is learning “the vital role nonprofits play in advancing community health and the importance of public private partnerships to drive social change, while building financial acumen,” stated the bank.

Working with Junior Achievement, she is helping to create a program aimed at attracting funders and collaborators. Additionally, Ruiz will collaborate with other student leaders on “Young America Together at Home,” a virtual program that includes a dialogue on the role of citizenship and how cross-sector collaboration creates community impact.

“Given the lack of jobs and internships currently available for teens and grads, the Student Leaders $5,000 stipend and work experience will help Kassandra stand out in pursuing her future career,” according to the bank.

Ruiz earned her spot among the program’s 300 nationwide student leaders the old fashioned way: through hard work. During high school, she was an avid volunteer and was active in sports and leadership organizations, including the African-America Student Union and Associative Student Body Leadership, which she headed as president.

“This internship this summer is giving me a glimpse of what I want to be in the future,” said Ruiz about what the Student Leaders program means to her. “In the future, I want to be able to work with nonprofits—to work closely with them and see how, with any career path I choose to take, I can implement it by helping them.”

She joins four other San Francisco and East Bay-based individuals selected for the Student Leaders program.

To learn more about the Bank of America Student Leaders program, click here.