Thursday, June 7, 2018

Two Portland Public Schools Juniors Selected As Bank of America Student Leaders

Two Portland Public Schools Juniors Selected As 
Bank of America Student Leaders

Bilan Mohamed, from Deering High School, and Reagan Brown, from Portland High School, are chosen to participate in an eight-week internship and leadership program funded by BOA.

PORTLAND, Maine – Two students from the Portland Public Schools (PPS) have been named 2018 Bank of America Student Leaders. Bank of America (BOA) selected Bilan Mohamed, from Deering High School, and Reagan Brown, from Portland High School, to participate in the Student Leaders program, through which BOA helps connect community-minded high school students to jobs, skills development, and service.

The Bank of America Student Leaders Program is an eight-week Internship and Leadership Conference program fully funded by Bank of America. This year, for the first time ever, the Portland, Maine Market has been designated a BOA Student Leaders site.

BOA Student Leaders participate in a paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where they learn firsthand about the needs of the community and the critical role nonprofits play. BOA Student Leaders learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. In addition to the paid internship, each BOA Student Leader will attend the Student Leader Summit held in Washington, D.C. where they will explore how government, business and the nonprofit sectors work to address critical community needs.

Bilan, a Deering High School junior, will do her paid internship at the Boys & Girls Club. According to Deering guidance counselor Libby Heselton, “Bilan has a big smile and a bigger to-do list. Highly intelligent and mature, she is interested in everything and strives to understand all she can.” Reagan, a junior at Portland High School, will do her paid internship at United Way of Greater Portland. Portland High history teacher Sally Reagan said in recommending Reagan that she is “among the most dedicated and meticulous students that I have encountered in my 25-year teaching career. She has a deep interest in politics, history and the world around her.”

Every year, through the Student Leaders program, BOA helps connect community-minded high school juniors and seniors to employment, skills development, and service. BOA looks for the next generation of community leaders, those with a passion for improving their community, and turning that passion into action. Bank of America has invested $2.5 million this year alone with the Student Leader program. This summer there will be 230 students from 48 markets across the country participating – all convening in Washington DC together!

“The Portland Public Schools is grateful to Bank of America for their investment in student learning, experience, and growth,” said PPS Superintendent Xavier Botana. “Consistent with the goals central to our strategic plan – known as the Portland Promise –  the BOA Student Leaders program invests in Achievement, Equity and the Whole Student.”

At the Portland Board of Public Education’s June 5 meeting, Botana and the board honored Bilan and Reagan and expressed gratitude to BOA for partnering with the Portland Public Schools. Botana noted that the Portland Education Foundation (PEF) recently received a $5,000 grant from BOA to support the PPS Families in Crisis Fund. The fund was developed to allow the school district to respond quickly when families face a crisis because of unforeseen and immediate basic needs for shelter, food and transportation.

“When we look at our attendance data, we know that homelessness and absence often go together,” Botana said. “This fund is an effort to help us intervene to mitigate those circumstances that can keep students out of school.”

Botana also recognized PEF Executive Director Kate Snyder “for her work to develop and strengthen our relationship with Bank of America. Thank you, Kate, Erin Macey and the rest of the PEF board for your support and advocacy for PEF.”

PEF’s mission is to raise philanthropic support to enhance educational opportunities for present and future students in Portland’s public schools. PEF’s vision is to strengthen schools through community investment.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Portland Board of Public Education on June 5 honored Deering High School junior Bilan Mohamed and Portland High School junior Reagan Brown for being selected to participate in an eight-week internship and leadership program funded by Bank of America. Pictured (from left) are Deering High School Assistant Principal Abdullahi Ahmed (Bilan’s father); Superintendent Xavier Botana; Reagan Brown; Heather Smith (Reagan’s mother); Bilan Mohamed; Portland Board of Public Education Chair Anna Trevorrow; Rose Parsons, BOA Vice President, Market Manager, Maine; and Bill Williamson, BOA Market President for Maine, Senior Vice President, Senior Client Manager, Commercial Banking

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