During the summer, The Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave five Valley high school students the opportunity to participate in their 2013 Student Leaders program.
The program awards more than 225 juniors and seniors to participate in the eight-week summer internship, where they assist at local Boys and Girls Club branches.
Ahwatukee Foothills native and Desert Vista High School graduate Zachary Hubbard has been interning at the Boys and Girls Club based in Tempe.
“It inspired me to not be successful for the sake of myself, but for the sake of others as well,” Hubbard said.
He found information about the program through an online resource while searching for different scholarships to apply for.
He added that the internship keeps him busy with trying to keep up with the kids at the Boy and Girls Club, but that it’s a rewarding experience.
Hubbard spends a majority of his time in the Boys and Girls Club computer lab, helping kids work with different applications, and floats to the gym if help is needed to keep the children’s time preoccupied.
“It’s good to be able to set a good example for the kids because these kids really do need help making a difference in their lives,” said Hubbard, who recently came back from the week-long Bank of America Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., which he said was a life changing experience.
Senior Vice President of Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibilities Kellie Manthe said the foundation is funded by the bank every year to include a mixture of philanthropy, grants and programs.
The applicants allowed into the Student Leaders Program are based on solid academic performances and recommendations from their teachers, Manthe said.
“It’s not so much an academic award, it’s more of a service award, so young kids in their junior or senior year who are focused on volunteering in the community can apply to this program,” Manthe said, adding that during the Student Leaders Program the interns are required to work a minimum of 32 hours each week, and there is a program called the Student Leader Summit where interns are able to go to Washington D.C. for seven days.
“The internship is really suppose to teach them about the business of nonprofits, and can be another career path,” Manthe said. “For the big picture for the summit there are three things we want to connect. We want to show the connection between governments, private enterprise and nonprofit, on how they work together for the good of our citizen, how important services are to our country volunteerism and see the inner working of government.”
Hubbard has done other volunteer work while attending Desert Vista, and was vice president of the National Honors Society (NHS).
His aspirations on giving back to others began after becoming a brain tumor survivor, suffering from multiple seizure episodes at a young age.
After undergoing surgery Hubbard has been completely healthy, but made the decision his freshman year to participate in brain tumor walks and spread awareness as much as he could.
During his senior year Hubbard organized a 5K, called “5K for Brain Tumor Research,” at Desert Vista having over 500 people showing up and gaining more than $4,300 in donations.
The event went so well, Hubbard said that next year NHS wants to do it again and he’ll be guiding the officers along the way.
Hubbard said being surrounded by people during the summit who were filled with the nobility for others gave him the inspiration to do good towards other individuals.
His time with the Student Leaders program has given him a greater appreciation for what he has been given, making him explore more into his civic duty.
“I want to make sure that when I’m successful in the future, I want to be able to make a difference as well,” Hubbard said.
He plans on furthering his education at Arizona State by studying marketing and Spanish, but has found inspiration on giving back to the community with volunteer work.
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