COUNTY — Senior year can be a trying time for students between college applications, finishing up volunteer hours and balancing a social life.
For Haleigh Woloszak, a senior at Edgewood Jr/Sr High School, volunteering is more than something to make a resume stand out – it’s something she is passionate about.
Haleigh was one of hundreds of students selected nationwide to attend Bank of America’s national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. over the summer holidays.
This exclusive experience gave her an opportunity to rub elbows with lawmakers, U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R- FL) and U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R- Dist. 8).
“I learned that our voices do have power,” Haleigh said. “I know that sounds a little hokey, but when I was there it was incredible to see the minds that I was surrounded by. I was able to really voice opinions and find solutions to those problems that I was addressing.”
During the week-long summit, Haleigh and other students attended workshops led by members of the Close Up Foundation, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic education organization.
“I was in awe by the fact that citizens do have power, and we can really make a difference if we apply ourselves,” Haleigh said.
Bank of America Market Manager Karen Jacobs remarked why providing these leadership opportunities for students is important to Bank of America.
“It’s great for the bank but it’s better for the community,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “It opens up the floodgate of realizing you can help not only as an individual but what you can do corporately to make our communities better as a whole. When our communities are better, everyone thrives.”
Haleigh has also been selected as one of Bank of America’s Student Leaders for her dedication to the community. Previous to traveling for the leadership summit, Bank of America provided Haleigh with a paid internship at Space Coast Health Foundation, where she learned the ins and outs of a nonprofit organization.
“We pair students with a local nonprofit and we pay for their internship,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “Then they can see how business, community and government can work together to solve big problems that all markets face.”
“Working and seeing the way they dedicate their entire being to the work that they pursued was absolutely amazing,” Haleigh said of her time volunteering with Space Coast Health Foundation.
“I worked with Johnette Gindling [president and CEO] and Donna Larson [director of operations] to be able to understand what it takes to really put your all into a nonprofit and that was truly a beautiful thing,” she continued.
Haleigh has also been a volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation of Florida and as a school tutor. She is also involved with her school’s Spanish Honors Society and National Honors Society.
This year, Haleigh will be working part time with the Space Coast Health Foundation in addition to taking five AP courses and two honors classes.
For more information about Bank of America’s Student Leaders program, visit about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/student-leaders.html.