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Tampa Prep Senior, Alyssa Williams, was one of four Tampa Bay area high school students selected as a Bank of America Student Leader!  Selection for this prestigious, paid internship was based on community involvement.

Alyssa is passionate about encouraging students to leverage their voices for future generations. She established Tampa Prep’s Rock the Vote chapter, dedicated to registering local youth to vote in upcoming elections.  We had a chance to catch up with Alyssa, to talk about this incredible achievement:

How were you chosen as a Bank of America Student Leader?
“At the end of the first semester of my junior year, I was looking for an opportunity for growth and skill development during the summer. As I was searching, I came across the Bank of America Student Leader Program which allowed participants to work for a non-profit in order to see how organizations impact and serve their local community. It was a perfect fit for me because it provided work experience, networking, and it aligned with my future goals of having a non-profit of my own. After I decided I wanted to commit my whole summer to this program (it is 9-5 Monday through Friday so you are essentially sacrificing your summer for this opportunity), I filled out the online application which encompassed a series of 700-character essays and one recommendation from a teacher (I used Mr. Sarkozy). After waiting a few months, I was chosen to be a student leader out of the 55 people in the Tampa area that applied, along with three other girls from different schools in the Tampa Bay area.”

What were your qualifications?
“The great part about this program is that they aren’t just looking for one type of student. Many people assume that this program is only interested in students who want to pursue business and have business related qualifications. But who I really feel like they’re looking for are students who want to make change in their community, serve others, and inspire peers to do the same, just like how they describe in their mission statement. Many of my qualifications fell under topics related to health, public service, and leadership. While I did list many qualifications, I focused on ones that adhered to the mission. Specifically, a lot of my application focused on me being a member of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, the higher tier of a program that serves the City of Tampa through volunteering and meets with the Mayor to discuss relevant issues. I also talked about my role in Teen Connect, a group that spreads sexual health resources and information in the Tampa area. Finally, I expanded on school extracurriculars such as my club, Rock the Vote, which is a fairly new club that promotes youth voter
registration, as well as my role as an elected representative for Tampa Prep’s Student Council and writer for the TP Current.”

What does this accomplishment mean to you?
“This program means so much to me because not only does it help me reach my goals, but I’m also upholding a very important value of mine which is helping others. Many of my extracurriculars support the sentiment to help make the Tampa community a better place whether it’s volunteering or spreading resources. Because of this program, I was able to be a hands-on community leader within the Boys and Girls Clubs all across Tampa Bay, propose plans to make the clubs and internship better for the future, network and gain advice from professionals, as well as shadow multiple departments to see how the non profit works together as a whole, and for this opportunity, I am forever grateful.”

How long have you attended Tampa Prep?
“I am fortunate enough to be a seven-year senior. I have been a student at Prep since the sixth grade, and I am now approaching my final year as a Terrapin.”

What is your favorite thing about Tampa Prep?
“My favorite thing about Tampa Prep is that it promotes so many ways to get involved in the community beyond the school. Tampa Prep has been great about offering so many fun clubs, but also making sure that there are clubs that will benefit the community around us and extend Tampa Prep’s mission of excellence and integrity. By joining just one club, you are given the opportunity to make an impact beyond Prep like attending volunteering events through Best Buddies, networking through organizations from joining Key Club, and so much more. Not to mention the amount of relationships you make with friends and teachers within the club.”