Two Students From Wellington Selected For Prestigious Bank Of America Program
Two high school students from Wellington, Katherine Oung and Ashley Kulberg, have been selected as part of this year’s Bank of America Student Leaders program.
The six-week paid summer internship program will help strengthen the students’ leadership abilities, civic engagement and workforce skills-building. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program, which gathers more than 300 high school students across the country, has been adapted to a virtual format, through which students will have the opportunity to participate in sessions that will expose them to the vital role that nonprofits play in advancing community health, the importance of public-private partnerships to advance social change and a focus on building financial acumen.
The Student Leaders will participate in programming that leverages Bank of America’s national partnerships and expertise and will work closely with the bank’s Palm Beach County leadership and nonprofit partners. They will participate in a collaborative, mentoring-focused project working closely with Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County to develop and deliver a social media strategy to support the organization’s efforts.
“Now, more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, we remain committed to supporting youth and young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Fabiola Brumley, Bank of America’s Palm Beach County market president and vice chairman, business banking. “Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community.”
Through her experiences as an intern for Congresswoman Lois Frankel, the captain of her speech and debate team and the first non-collegiate lead writer for a volunteer-run newsroom, Katherine Oung has seen and heard firsthand about wealth inequality in her own community. Now, she’s working in real time to address these issues and level the playing field for her neighbors.
Oung believes in the power of volunteering to build connections that will serve as a tool to ignite meaningful change, especially within her local community. Because of her dedication and exceptional leadership qualities, the rising senior at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts has been selected for the Student Leader program.
She has spent hundreds of hours educating her peers and managing the 50-member staff at Balance the Ballot, a student-run organization with the goal of raising awareness for current global issues and getting youth more involved in and informed about politics. As a lead writer, she spearheaded an initiative to facilitate voter registration in 2018. Her South Florida region registered 200 people, and the event was so successful that it will continue leading up to this year’s election.
Oung recently penned an op-ed for The New York Times entitled “Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School,” which discussed her personal experiences with racism as an Asian American amid the rise of COVID-19.
As a counselor at Arts Reaching Out to Society Camp for the past three years, Oung helped to organize Jefferson Jubilee, a holiday event donating gifts to underprivileged children. She also served as a mentor for Beyond Resolved, a student-led speech and debate organization, where she supports, advocates and raises awareness for marginalized high school students.
Through her internship with Frankel, Oung immersed herself in the needs of her community by participating in events, meeting with area residents and leaders, and listening to their stories to better promote their needs. She has also dedicated more than 100 hours to local organizations, serving as a volunteer at the Soup Kitchen of Boynton Beach, a volunteer attorney and jury member for Youth Court, and a foster parent for the Peggy Adams Animal Shelter.
Oung aspires to one day tackle wealth inequality through government work or as an attorney. Currently, she plans to continue her passion for freelance journalism, as she believes accurate reporting is the best way to spread knowledge as a means of power.
As a student attending an elite private school, Ashley Kulberg understands her position of privilege and uses it as an opportunity to give back to her local community, while also helping on a global scale.
The rising senior at the American Heritage School in Delray Beach works to sponsor the education and frequent communication, through pen pal relationships, with her international peers as vice president of her high school chapter of Education Rocks. Last summer, she had the opportunity to travel to Bali and witness her impact firsthand after meeting her pen pal, Yuni, who is not afforded the same luxuries.
In addition to her international travels, Kulberg has dedicated hundreds of hours to participating in the varsity speech and debate team and mentoring the novice teams, which are comprised of debaters from ninth grade and middle school.
It was through these experiences that she found her voice, which she uses to advance political dialogue and spread ideas.
When she’s not writing to Yuni or supporting her debate team, Kulberg works as a student organizer for TEDxYouth, an event series encouraging conversation around “worth-spreading ideas.” In September 2019, she presented a proposal to faculty, then coordinated auditions, practices, ticket sales and all necessary components to put on the inaugural event.
Kulberg has also demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills and dedication to her professional development as a competitor for her high school’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America, the largest business student organization in the world; a policy research fellow for Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer; and her involvement in her religious community as a volunteer for her synagogue summer camp.
Kulberg is dedicated to addressing the challenges in her community. As a Bank of America Student Leader, she hopes to use this new opportunity to propel herself up the ladder of influence to spark positive change in her community.
Learn more about the Student Leaders program at www.bankofamerica.com/studentleaders.