Five young women from the Seattle area, including one from Mercer Island, participated in Bank of America’s Student Leaders program. Photo courtesy of Rachel Coskey

Mercer Islander interns with student leaders program

Last summer, Bank of America helped five students with investing – in their futures, that is.

Mercer Island’s own Rachel Coskey, along with Seattle-area’s Grace Chen, Izabella Davis, Danielle Scanes and Jessica Wells, were chosen for Bank of America’s Student Leaders eight-week, paid internship program, which helps develop the next generation of local leaders by recognizing community-minded high school students and connecting them to employment, professional development and service opportunities.

Coskey, a senior at Northwest Yeshiva High School, started interning with local nonprofit Treehouse in June.

“[Treehouse] works with youth in foster care to give them a normal childhood and a future beyond foster care,” Coskey said.

She worked on numerous projects from research and writing, to helping put on events and learning the general operations of a nonprofit. She also got to attend a week-long leadership summit in Washington D.C. with the 220 other students in the Bank of America program, who are all passionate about improving their communities and social action work.

“It was really unique experience to get to know [the other interns] and create friendships,” she said. “It’ll be cool to stay in contact with these people who I know are going to do great things in the future.”

Bank of America also set each student up with a financial advisor to teach them some money management basics, including how to write checks and set personal financial goals.

Coskey said she saw the internship as a way to give back to the community, while also building up her work experience. She plans to take a gap year between high school and college, and doesn’t know what she wants to pursue as a career, though she admired the work done by Treehouse and other local charities.

“I really like how nonprofit work is still a business… but the goal is much bigger than just making money,” she said. “It’s about really making a difference.”

The other four young women completed internships at other local organizations: Mentoring Works, Seattle Goodwill, Housing Hope and Imagine Housing.

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The Seattle Market Student Leaders meet Pramila Jayapal, who represents Washington’s 7th congressional district. Photo courtesy of Rachel Coskey

Approximately 220 students in the Bank of America program attended a leadership summit in Washington D.C. Courtesy photo

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