Transcript

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so hi i’m becca i’m becca rebecca stern i’m 
a senior and i’m from melbourne pennsylvania

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so about 45 minutes outside of philly 
so i did the bank of america student

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leaders program i was one of the five 
philadelphia student leaders and it was

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from june until right up to the end of july so in 
about july 31st and it was virtual unfortunately

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my experience with think of america i can only 
speak on the virtual one because i know the

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in-person one is obviously really different 
and something i know there’s a lot of great

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qualities of that especially like that one 
week summit that i was really excited about

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that i think students should know that that is 
there and that is an amazing opportunity and

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definitely like a hallmark of the program i just 
didn’t experience it um so for me i think the

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biggest things i took away were the importance of 
having these diverse perspectives and when you’re

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trying to solve issues actually talking to the 
people experiencing them which seems very basic

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but i think a lot of people don’t do that um so 
especially again are some that we were able to

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we were talking about like food insecurity and and 
these different like issues and should food stamps

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be able to be used at all grocery stores should 
they only be confined to certain ones and then

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we had a student leader who could talk about like 
what she’s experienced in her own community and

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what she thought and that definitely changed how 
i thought i’m like well what right do i have to

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hypothetically think about it when i’m hearing 
it like in reality from someone and that’s not an

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experience i would have ever gotten in any other 
situation we also had some really great speakers

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um watch some really cool documentaries about like 
prisons about um mentorship there’s a big emphasis

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on mentorship and i think i just learned a lot 
also how to work in like a workspace virtually and

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it helped prepare me a lot for this year and how 
to run my meetings more efficiently um and just

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how to work in a non-profit that’s that’s much 
larger scale than anything i’ve done on my own

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it was philadelphia youth network so it 
connects youth in philadelphia to paid

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employment opportunities mostly for the summer 
so their main program is the work ready program

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which is really awesome

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definitely rough um so the there were 
five st leaders in my group and we did

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like it to know each other a little bit 
not a lot um i know like in the past

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i think people should know like i think there was 
like a phillies game that big america paid for all

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of us to go to we obviously got a t-shirt this 
year not a phillies game not the same thing but

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i guess kind of close um and there’s usually 
that one week summit in in washington dc all

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expense paid where you get paired with other 
student leaders i did get to know the other

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students a little bit like through my college 
process um i have become friends with like

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i’ve kept in contact with a few not so much the 
ones from like my region actually some of the

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ones from like other regions um and that’s 
been cool to have that opportunity like to

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like if i’m applying for for washu like there’s 
this program that me and another finalist for me

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really talking about it so it’s nice to have that 
kind of like when you’re going to college maybe

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be able to have that that like connection um but 
i wouldn’t say that like the virtual experience

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was definitely more difficult than if to get close 
and if we were doing like our regular nine to five

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like 30 40 hour work week with each other for 
eight weeks obviously it’s not the same amount

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of closeness you would get but i would say it’s 
still a really positive experience i loved the

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other philly studios we just didn’t get to know 
each other as much as we would have obviously

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they definitely tone it down so i would 
say it was like 10 to 15 hours a week but

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also that compensation included i think 
some of the money that would have been

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spent on like different experiences like that 
that trip to dc which would have been like a

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huge expense for them was folded into like our 
paycheck rather than being like separate um so

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yeah we we did it for it was like probably some 
weeks it was like five hours and it was like 15

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if there were a lot of other events we did have 
like a two day three hours each day summit i think

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i think that was the timing but it was two days um 
but yeah it was pretty it was not super draining

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in terms of like the amount of work we got 
or anything one of the other student leaders

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actually um her name’s nia she’s going to 
harvard for she was in my in my class um

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was able to do another program at the same 
time like she did both and they were both like

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paid internship opportunities so i think she 
was really able to take advantage of that

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um to to do both so definitely you you 
could but normally you would not be able to

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so two things one is because we didn’t have as 
many inference experiences obviously it was really

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great being able to have like a paying job during 
the summer because i usually do things like in

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person like i babysit or tutor i wasn’t able to 
do that this summer so being able to have that

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opportunity and in such like a great environment 
was awesome um they also took care of the student

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leaders really well we got like a laptop too um 
so i think bank of america like their support

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of us was amazing like everyone was so kind and 
like gracious with their time i met with like our

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market leader a couple times everyone at pyn was 
like amazing and so nice um so i think like the

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community both like bank of america philadelphia 
networking and the other student leaders

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like that was my thing my favorite part about bank 
of america specifically is that it isn’t actually

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academic space i mean i think a lot of the kids 
in it tend to be like high achievers in all areas

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but um the program itself does not take like any 
transcripts any like sat scores they really just

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want kids who are like care about their community 
in like a genuine way um each student leader in my

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district was very different different interests 
like different like things they were passionate

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about i don’t think scholastically or i don’t 
think we were all like we didn’t remember like

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obviously to talk about like oh what are your 
grades um but i don’t i don’t think that like

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i think in my experience working like looking 
at all like 300 student leaders like i think

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there was a like a nice range so it wasn’t 
so focused on like you must have a 1600 sat

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score to be in this you know but everyone i met 
was obviously super smart and super passionate

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some of the like the webinars just weren’t 
super engaging because like it just

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it wasn’t what it was supposed to 
be so i don’t think we were able to

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like learn as much as it would have been like as a 
live speaker experience um but i think any of like

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the bad parts of the program honestly like were 
just because it was virtual like i i think like

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i will go to my grave saying that this is 
like the best summer program for any student

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like it’s you literally get paid to do it and 
it’s like this amazing job you become part of

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this amazing community it’s i think incredible so 
the only bad things i think are like basically it

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being virtual and not being able to have the same 
in-person experiences like the summit was kind of

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a little a little choppy um just it was like a 
deliberative platform was a little bit tough to

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have a really engaging discussion with um but i 
think they put so much effort and work into it

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that like we appreciated it it just 
wasn’t obviously what it could have been

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i love bank of america and i thought it was like 
the coolest thing ever and it was like the best

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fit for me in terms of what i was interested 
in i was also interested in business and like

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specifically social entrepreneurship i also didn’t 
want to pay for a program so i definitely limited

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my options a little bit i just thought it was one 
it was paying you instead of you paying them which

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is always a plus um i think the financial aspect 
of summer programs is honestly super important

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because i don’t like i i think the obviously like 
the pen ones aren’t like that but there are a lot

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like you have to pay a couple thousand dollars 
for it and especially when it’s virtual like

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no um so i thought bank of america like it was a 
great experience they really support the students

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super well um and they genuinely just like are 
trying to invest in you as a student leader

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not trying to get anything in return 
like it wasn’t like they’re like pledging

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like that you’re gonna work there one day or you 
know anything like that it was just like a great

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program and i spoke to other people who were in it 
um a student from my school was in like five years

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ago and he had like nothing but good things to 
say about it and i was super hyped when i got in

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they really just like want people who are 
passionate about something it doesn’t really

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matter what like every single one of my 
other visual leaders in my in my like group

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were so different like different interests like 
different passions i think as a group itself like

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we were really diverse in in every way um which 
was really awesome i don’t think it’s a way to

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like game the application really um i think you 
just have to show that you really care about your

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community and like you’re you’re trying to create 
positive change and you could really benefit from

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the program um and that’s basically it um i think 
it’s a pretty selective program i think from my

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philly it was like 5 out of 70 maybe 
and then for other other districts

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i know like for like i think miami 
beats miami it was like 500 like 300

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like it it like varies so um some some require 
interviews we don’t require an interview in philly

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um it just like depends so just shoot your 
shot and you know see what happens if you

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get it great if you don’t you’ll find 
something else that will be a better fit

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you