Every year, each one of Bank of America’s 45 markets recognizes five high school juniors and seniors as Student Leaders for their passion and commitment to improve their communities. The Student Leadership Program allows each student to participate in an eight week long summer internship with a local nonprofit organization and a week long Student Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. This summer, three Student Leaders have been working with Habitat’s Portland/Metro East affiliate.

Hamda Jama divides her time working at the front desk and with the homeownership department. She has researched ways to recruit youth volunteers and has also worked at build sites. Being a Student Leader has allowed Hamda to learn interpersonal skills, time management skills and establish key networks. She has enjoyed working at build sites and with staff members who create a welcoming and comfortable working environment. Hamda will attend Portland State University this fall to major in Biology and later hopes to attend the Oregon Health and Science University to become a pediatrician.

Ximena Fonseca works in the communications department. The main focus of her internship has been to help document the experience of the volunteers at build sites and share it through our social media outlets. Ximena wanted to work with Habitat to learn about the executive side of a nonprofit organization and help provide housing for hard working families through home builds. She has enjoyed working along side future homeowners, volunteers and team builders to help build affordable housing. This fall, Ximena will pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Architecture at Oregon State University.

Robert Yu works with the volunteer department and at build sites. Throughout his internship, he has focused on increasing the amount of regular volunteers and also recruiting young adults to volunteer through Youth United. Robert wanted to work with Habitat to learn about how nonprofits work and further understand Habitat’s mission. As a Student Leader, Robert has developed leadership skills that have enabled him to reach out to his community. This fall, Robert will attend the University of California Berkley to major in Business and Economics.

Hamda, Ximena and Robert will finish their summer internships with Habitat in the first few weeks of August. Habitat would like to thank each of them for their hard work  and wish them great success as they advance on to college.

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