2020 Student Leader Internship Q&A with Bethany

Earlier this year, YouthForce member and high school junior Bethany Brundage was named a Bank of America Student Leader for their summer 2020 cohort. In this Q&A update, Bethany shares how her internship went working remotely, and what she learned.

How did your internship go?

At the beginning of the program, we had many online webinars like Mentoring, Racial Equity in America, Insecure Food in America, a Guide to Managing Money, Implicit Bias, Alvin Ailey, and College Behind Bars: The Transformative Power of Education. We also had panels like Career Paths in the Financial Sector, Public Policy & Media Relations, and a non-profit called Financial Beginnings Oregon. We were given an exercise called Neighborhood Builders; where we have to give $200,000 to a non-profit that best deserves the grant.

Throughout the internship, the Portland market had to work with a non-profit organization which was Habitat for Humanity. They want to expand their platform so that the young generations know about their organization. They thought that TikTok was a good platform to use and wanted us, student leaders, to come up with starter videos for them. At the end of the program, we had a session that lasted two days called Young Democracy at Home which allowed us to voice our opinions on the current issues. From the conversation we had we took into consideration actions to take for Young Democracy at Home Follow up sessions. We met other Student Leaders from across the country, and with the guidance of a Close Up Program Instructor, created action plans to address issues in our home communities.

What was it like working remotely?

This year was a new experience for everyone, including the director/workers of the program. They did an awesome job adjusting new things along the way because I didn’t have any problem getting into online webinars or meetings. I was very sad that I didn’t have the chance to work with Habitat for Humanity at their construction sites, or being able to go to D.C., but I was glad to have had an awesome experience being part of Bank of America Student Leaders 2020. Even if I didn’t have a chance to meet them in person, it’s good to see them online.

Biggest takeaway or lesson?

A big takeaway or lesson I would bring to my communities is knowledge. Before the program, I knew little about the current situation around the world. Throughout the program, I learned many viewpoints from guest speakers and also from other Student Leaders throughout the country. What they have to say will always impact how I view the world. I’m able to bring this knowledge to my clubs, volunteering, and jobs.

I love learning new things because I know that I will pass my knowledge and experience to another person, who will use the information to help other people. To make an impact on our world, we need to educate our peers and the future generation so that they can get educated as well, and pass on their knowledge, until everyone is educated. Instead of a small group changing the world, we as a whole will change the world for future generations to take on. Everyone has a voice that can impact other people, we have to speak up so that other people can hear our voice.

Did any of your expectations change from the start to the end of the internship?

In the beginning, I was expecting to work with Habitat for Humanity on something but not sure what it was. I didn’t expect to have webinars, panels, and worked with peers to make TikTok for Habitat for Humanity.

Throughout, the program was an overall amazing experience to have. It still shocks me today that I was chosen to be part of Bank of America Student Leaders 2020. Out of everyone in the Portland Metro area, they decided to pick me! I am very grateful to be chosen as a Student Leader 2020. I will always treasure all the experience I had during the program and the amazing Student Leaders I met, because I know for sure that they will change our world.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

I’m co-leading these pressing topics as part of a group of other former Student Leaders from across the country at an Instagram account called @youth_initiative2020. We talk about current issues that are happening around the world to educate for a better tomorrow. Come follow us and join in the conversation!

YouthForce Teen of the Year Named a 2020 Bank of America Student Leader

Joliesse Carmona Perez on stage giving speech with scholarship check immediately after she was announced as the Portland Metro Youth of the Year by judges on stage behind her..

Joliesse Carmona-Perez Announced as 2020 Portland Metro Youth of the Year

The Agenda for America's Youth is our mean to close the opportunity gap for kids and teens. It focuses on ploicy solutions that prioritize: out of school time, safer childhoods, health and wellness, education, workforce readiness, and equity and inclusion.

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Summer in the Clubs 2019

KeyBank logo, black text with red key

$278,000 Grant from KeyBank Offers New Infusion for YouthForce Career Development Program


PORTLAND, OR. (Dec. 4, 2018) – A three-year $278,000 grant from KeyBank to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro (BGCP) will provide new funding for its YouthForce career development program, thus expanding localized opportunities for teen training and employment.

“Helping underserved youth realize their full potential is critical to their success and instrumental in building and maintaining a vibrant economy,” said Michelle Weisenbach, president of KeyBank in Oregon and Southwest Washington, in announcing the grant. “Philanthropy is part of KeyBank’s DNA. Our funding priorities at KeyBank make up four pillars: neighbors, workforce, education and service, and this program squarely addresses these issues with proven success in helping build stronger communities through improved workforce opportunities.”

“Our ongoing partnership with KeyBank has been vital in expanding opportunities for local youth to learn as they grow their employment skills,” says Erin Hubert, CEO of BGCP. “KeyBank has long been a stalwart and supportive partner in helping us build and expand the YouthForce program, and this collaboration speaks volumes to the commitment KeyBank holds to creating economic advancement for all people.”

YouthForce helps thousands of underserved, low-income and first-generation college-bound youth (ages 15-19 years) build job skills and create a path toward career success while maintaining educational achievement. At its core, YouthForce PDX empowers teens to develop a vision for their future and then provides them the experiences, resources and networks to achieve it.

Participants gain increased professional skills, comfort in the business environment, identification of career options/paths, knowledge of managing personal finances, increased confidence and a positive outlook on the future.

BGCP launched YouthForce in 2015 in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of King County and the Portland Timbers & Thorns, with a $500,000 grant from KeyBank. Since then, Portland Metro staff successfully scaled up the pilot program, YF PDX, by developing creative strategies and partnerships that uniquely meet the needs for career development for underserved youth in the Portland area.

Programs integrate adult coaching and mentoring, skill building workshops, and hands-on work experience through paid internships to empower teens to develop the competencies they need to achieve their educational and career potential.

This grant will help fund three distinct programs including:

  • YouthForce University (YFU), which offers workshops and trainings; individual mentoring and advocacy; and academic and career planning.
  • TeamWork Apprenticeship Program, a unique internship experience with professional sports teams, such as Portland Timbers and Thorns, that offers meaningful, entry-level work experiences with the Guest Services Department during Providence Park events.
  • Career Internship Program (CIP), which includes hands-on work experience with local employers, professional networking, career exploration and skill building.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $138.8 billion at September 30, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of over 1,100 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro (BGCP) empowers more than 4,000 youth each year to discover their full potential by providing safe, enriching after-school and summer programs. Learn more about how Clubs support youth in achieving academic success, becoming responsible leaders, and living healthy lives at bgcportland.org.

Wattles Club Member Receives Full Scholarship

Growing Up at the Club

Adrianah Dorn came to the Wattles Boys & Girls Club as a first grader and remained an active member through her graduation in 2017, building lifelong bonds with her staff mentors and learning how to play basketball in the Club gym. She recalls her days at the Club fondly.

Through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro and our community partnerships, Adrianah had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend La Salle Preparatory High School, a private school in Milwaukie that focuses on building academic excellence and the importance of community service. Her outstanding application netted her a full scholarship to La Salle, including four years of tuition, book costs, and a transportation stipend.

YouthForce Intern

While at LaSalle, Adrianah continued to attend the Wattles Club, and joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland’s YouthForce program. As part of YouthForce, she interned at Alaska Airlines as part of their uniform acquisition team. Adrianah remained an exemplary student, receiving straight As and playing on the La Salle varsity softball team. Upon graduation, she had a full scholarship to study engineering at Oregon State University. During the summers, she comes back to Milwaukie mentor high school students at La Salle, and continues to acquire practical experience through internships.

We are so proud of your success, dedication, and spirit, Adrianah, and the Great Future you have ahead of you!

La Salle Preparatory School Athletics Logo

About the La Salle Scholarship Program

This unique scholarship program, funded by Precision Castparts Corp., allows Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro to help recruit and educate families and advise students through a rigorous application process. Applicants must qualify for free or reduced lunch and be returning Club members.