Isheta Kulshreshtha is spending her summer — the last one of her high school career — working at the Food Bank of Delaware.
It’s more than stocking shelves and boxes. The rising senior at Charter School of Wilmington (CSW) is one of five Delaware high school students selected as 2023 Bank of America Student Leaders, a paid, eight-week summer internship providing students with first-hand experience in serving their communities, all across the US. The other Delawareans are Alicia Chu of Archmere Academy, Rebekah Cheong of CSW, Laasya Gadde of Caravel Academy and Matthew Onyango of MOT Charter School.
“We get to help out around the food bank and learn about the inner workings of a nonprofit and the operations as well as to do some of the ground work with the amazing leaders here,” Kulshreshtha, who is a cofounder of the student-run Delaware Entrepreneurship League, told Technical.ly. “I’m learning about the world of nonprofits and am able to see what an actual nonprofit run by adults is like, because I obviously have some experience in the student nonprofit space.”
Like an increasing number of young workers and entrepreneurs, social responsibility is top of mind for Kulshreshtha, who plans to start a socially responsible business in the future and continue working with nonprofits. For now, she’s seeing that the food bank doesn’t just feed people, though that is its primary mission.
“They have culinary programs where they’re teaching people how to cook and financial advisors who work with people,” she said. “We worked on the farm yesterday. They grow tomatoes and vegetables and fruits and they use them in their kitchen which is awesome. They’re super sustainable.”
All in all, Bank of America’s Student Leaders program counts 90 markets across the country, with 300 students participating. The internships culminate with a weeklong summit in DC, where all of the students will network and increase their connections.
The program is currently celebrating its 20th year. After years of scaled-back summits, the students are looking forward to being together in person, Bank of America executive Deborah O’Brien said.
“In Washington, DC, it’s really that connection between the public and private sectors that we really try to emphasize for them,” O’Brien said. “If you need to learn about civic engagement and inclusion, meet with members of Congress from their districts and participate in conversations around equality, racial and social justice, experience some of the museums, specifically the African American History Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We really try to give them that broader view that they can then take back to their local communities.”
High school students interested in community leadership can learn how to apply for next summer on Bank of America’s Student Leaders page.
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