YORKTOWN — Tabb High School student Alexis Golart was named this year’s Yorktown Student Leader by Bank of America.
The Bank of America Student Leaders program is a national program started in 2004 that recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors every year. Students participate in an eight-week paid internship with a local nonprofit, and culminates with a week-long national leadership summit, this year to be held July 17-21 in Washington, D.C.
Golart is a rising senior at Tabb High School, and the nonprofit she choose to work with was the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News. With her nonprofit work, she started a program called SOAR (Student Opportunity and Resource Network) at her school to help students find clubs and activities to join. A member of a military family, she knew the struggles of moving from place to place, including overseas.
“The idea behind it is so incoming students like myself freshmen year, is to help students break into activities and sports,” Golart explained. “I wanted to make it easier for other military kids who were also coming into a new place with no idea what the community had to offer, especially because we’re at this intersection of NASA and all the Air Force bases —there are a lot of really good opportunities.”
SOAR pairs up incoming students, specifically from military communities, giving them a list of every possible club, extracurricular, and activity unique to their school. When a student shows an interest in a particular activity, SOAR then pairs them with a student who is already involved, so they can give deeper details about the activity and a friendly face when they join.
The 2023-24 school year will be the first time the program is fully implemented, and the York County School District has been receptive to the program. The school has also offered the pay the fees to publish a website for SOAR.
Golart said her experience with the Bank of America Program has helped her explore the nonprofit side of the business and has helped her figure out where she thinks she would best fit in the future.
“I think in the future I’d like to apply the skills I’ve learned from the leadership [at the Mariners Museum] and go into consulting,” Golart said about her plans for the future. “The current CEO of the Mariners Museum, Howard, he originated as a consultant and from that went into nonprofits. So I think that a similar career path would be really wonderful.”
“I really appreciate all the effort that the Mariners right now are putting into the community through kayaking programs at the elementary schools and various outreach programs including partnering with Bank of America in order to have me here,” Golart added. “I think that in the future I’d like to originate in consulting so I can develop leadership skills and then use that to go into the world of nonprofit.”
Golart had previously never considered this career path prior to her internship program. She’s found it has really opened her eyes and hopes to continue with this path in the future.