WORCESTER, Mass. – Two local students were chosen for a leadership program that kept them busy at the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester.
Shalini Biju and Diana Nguyen were chosen as part of the Bank of America Student Leaders program.
The eight-week summer internship provides students with first-hand experience of serving their communities. Biju and Nguyen have already managed to acquire great expertise in this field.
Nguyen recently graduated from Worcester Technical High School, where she has spent her free time brightening the lives of nursing home residents with arts and crafts. It’s all part of a program she helped create called Caring with Compassion.
“It really upset me and kind of broke my heart to see that some residents had a lot of colorful artwork and then other residents just had blank bulletin boards and they were in a really lonely environment,” Nguyen said. “I kept thinking about it and I went back and started asking if I could decorate them. All my club members we started doing the same and I donated a lot works of art there.”
Biju is a rising senior at Shrewsbury Secondary School, and as well as being a peer tutor and volunteer mentor, she finds time to volunteer as an art teacher for Autism Allies. .
“What started as a research project to help me understand better has turned into something very valuable to me, as I have made very good friendships with all the children and learned a lot from them. them,” Biju said. “They’re always really excited about doing art projects, and I can see that really helps them too.”
2022 marks the first time in several years that Bank of America and the Worcester Boys and Girls Club have been able to get interns to help in person, and development director Leah Motsis said it’s been a big help.
“In the nonprofit world, we can always use an extra pair of hands,” Motsis said. “I think another element of that and something we look for at the club as a general theme is mentorship. Every year the young people we partner with have been great, so we really appreciate that.”
As Biju and Nguyen continue their internship, it’s no surprise that they approach work with a desire to help others.
“I was really excited to be able to work with a non-profit organization because it’s something I want to pursue in my future,” Biju said.
“It makes me really happy to see the impact we have when they come every day and they’re really excited,” Nguyen said.
Three hundred students across the country have been chosen for Bank of America’s Student Leadership Program. Biju and Nguyen will also participate in a virtual leadership summit with members of Congress and leading civil and human rights voices.
“Bank of America remains committed to supporting young adults by connecting them with jobs, community engagement opportunities and leadership development,” said Ed Shea, president of Bank of America Central Massachusetts. “We recognize that young adults are the future, which is why programs like Student Leaders are a way to provide students with paid opportunities to gain work experience while developing a diverse talent pool as they grow. they enter the local labor market.”