PLANT CITY - Jacob Goad has always enjoyed volunteering with children and those with special needs ever since Sandy Denium, a teacher at Plant City High School, encouraged him to volunteer with the Special Olympics. He recalls initially feeling nervous about the new responsibility. Remembering what Denium told him, he said,
"'Just come out to one practice and try it,'" Denium told him. "Most of the time people love it', and I did."
Goad now volunteers every Sunday with the Special Olympics, working with special needs children to help them participate in sports and athletics. Through his volunteer efforts, the 17-year-old Plant City High School graduate was chosen to take part in the Bank of America 2013 Student Leaders program, a national initiative that enables students to participate in paid eight-week summer internships at nonprofit organizations that benefit entire communities.
"Our Student Leaders program provides students like Jacob with the opportunity to earn and learn, while increasing the capacity of nonprofits to serve critical community needs," said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay market president for Bank of America.
Goad chose to intern with the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay. After an initial training period, Goad will begin working as an intern with members of the Boys and Girls club in sports and athletics. He explained that he and his fellow interns are excited about the opportunity to serve their community while gaining valuable work experience.
"All six of us have been talking and we're all excited about it. It pumps you up to go work," he said.
In July, Goad and the other Tampa Bay Student Leaders will attend a week long Bank of America Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., as part of the summer internship program. More than 200 students from across the country will participate in summit activities that include a service learning project, a series of interactive workshops with Capitol Hill briefings, and sessions on financial education and leadership development skills.