The coronavirus pandemic ended plans for his senior year in high school, but local student Tyus Carey is banking on a better start to his college education.

Tyus Carey was selected by Bank of America for a highly competitive internship and participated in sessions on the vital role nonprofits play in advancing community health and the importance of public private partnerships to drive social change. (photo by Ray Johnson)

Carey, who recently graduated from Foothill High School, is finishing up a prestigious summer internship with the Bank of America Student Leadership Program. The program pairs students across the country with non-profit organizations with the goal of connecting them to jobs, skills-building resources and opportunities to strengthen their communities.

“Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community,” said Matt McCormack, Bank of America Sacramento Market president.

Carey is one of four Sacramento-area students selected to participate for 2020.

“I was immediately intrigued and knew I would have to apply,” he said.
While attending Foothill High, Carey served student body president and as a Student Board Member with the Twin Rivers Unified School District.

“I’ve been in leadership for as long as I can remember going all the way back to middle school, and when I read about what the internship entails I knew I had to spend my summer doing something like this,” he said.

The Student Leadership Program is traditionally an eight-week paid internship, with students working for a non-profit for 35 hours a week. Participants would also spend a week in Washington, D.C., where they’d be provided with leadership and advocacy training and receive introductions to elected officials so that they can advocate for some of the things that are important to their communities.

The program, in its 16th year, was also impacted by COVID-19 and moved to a shortened, virtual format. In addition to a $5,000 stipend, Bank of America also gave students Chromebooks and made sure they had WiFi access in order to participate.

“We’re exposing the students to a lot of different speakers on leadership, implicit bias, advocacy, nonprofit leadership, financial education, hunger in America — things that we know are important to all communities across the country,” shared Lori Rianda, Bank of America Sacramento Market senior vice president.

Carey previously volunteered with the Black Child Legacy Campaign, helping create safe havens and events for underserved youth and learning how to seek funding for the campaign’s efforts to reduce the number of youth deaths.

“Our main focus was to get kids off the street and not going down the wrong path in life,” Carey said.

The Student Leadership Program, he says, is helping him hone his leadership skills and is giving him tools for success. There are weekly webinars and small market groups that participants attend. They’re also working on a group project for the Boys & Girls Club, which they’ll present at the end of the month.

One of Carey’s favorite internship activities has been a discussion that was recently hosted by Stanford University.

“It was great to hear different people’s perspectives on a lot of controversial and political topics,” he shared.

Carey leaves to attend his “dream school” — UCLA — in September.
“I’m kind of taking an unconventional route. My major is actually public affairs. I’m going in on the community side, but with a STEM outlook, so I can only get the best of both worlds.

“After college I do plan to go off to medical school, but after that, whatever position I’m in, I do plan to sit on boards and I’m going to be an active, vocal leader in the medical community. The nonprofit world is something I’m interested in and don’t want to let go of,” Carey shared.

Ms. Rianda calls Carey a “really bright young man with an incredible future.”

“Each year, the students, like Tyus, are really, really committed to their community and that’s first and foremost when we are looking at their application,” she said. “What we love about Tyus and his peers is just how committed they are to the community and all the great work that they’re doing on top of their school.”

Carey has his eye on Harvard Medical School after completion of his undergraduate studies.

“That is a reach for the stars, but I’m going in with that mindset,” he said.
Carey has older and younger siblings and will be the first in his family to go to college.

“My mom is extremely happy,” he said.

“I’ve been working so hard and it’s just great to see that the work has paid off.”

By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer