Martin County – This summer, two students, Harseerat Dhillon and Audrey Millet, were selected for an internship as Bank of America Student Leaders. These students earned this selection through hard work. As Student Leaders, they attended a leadership summit in Washington D.C. with 300 fellow students from around the country on to meet members of Congress. Harseerat and Audrey will also be working with the United Way of Martin County and the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County with the goal of improving as many lives as possible.

Harseerat is a graduate of South Fork High School, where she was president of Human Trafficking Awareness, a club she founded after learning human trafficking is a prevalent issue in Martin County. From that experience, she discovered One Billion Rising, an organization tackling domestic violence issues, and was inspired to serve as co-chairwoman for the Martin County chapter. Through her leadership at HWA she teaches members how to recognize and report the signs of potential trafficking, and works to raise money and spread awareness in her school and community by volunteering with other organizations.

Harseerat shared that her journey began when she decided to do an action research project on human trafficking. This opened her eyes to the horrors that many face around the world and in Martin County.

Interning at United Way of Martin County through the Bank of America Student Leader program has been very fulfilling for Harseerat. Travelling between the different agencies that United Way funds and seeing the difference it makes has been most rewarding. “I enjoy knowing that any small act of volunteering can go a long way in someone’s life,” said Harseerat.

Harseerat said, “One person can’t always change the world by herself, but every single person matters in the process of change.” Harseerat believes One Billion Rising is crucial for community awareness because it reaches out to multiple non-profit agencies. She feels this may inspire others who may want to learn about the issues faced by the community and potentially bring in more to assist in making a change. One Billion Rising has given Harseerat an outlet for change and allowed her the opportunity to see community impact from a new perspective. This has set Harseerat up for her greatest accomplishments. Harseerat plans to continue her education in law and become a human rights lawyer, continuing to be a voice for those who have been silenced.

Audrey currently attends South Fork High School, and is passionate about tackling the issues of elderly neglect and geriatric depression that are common for residents over the age of 65. From this, she created a program at a local elderly center where she paints rocks with residents to promote the arts and encourages interaction between the elderly and other members of the community.

Audrey began her journey in January this year when she received an email from her counselor relaying a message for an opportunity to apply to the Bank of America Student Leaders summer internship. This summer, the staff at the Boys and Girls Club have inspired her through their care and passion towards her program. Audrey most appreciates the opportunity to a leadership position allowing her the power to proficiently interact with the club members and residents. “I enjoy seeing the positive outcomes of a successfully run program. At the Boys and Girl Club, they are the smiles on the children’s faces,” says Audrey.

“Anyone can make a positive impact on our community. The Boys and Girls Club is a great opportunity for someone to make a difference,” said Audrey. To Audrey, the club is a vital part of the county because it provides a safe and nurturing place for youth to go. The club offers the chance for members that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Audrey deeply believes this program can develop future leaders that will be an asset to the community because of the productive life skills that are being instilled from a young age.

By her own experience in leadership Audrey looks forward to being a role model for students and leaders to come. Earning the chance to experience a Student Leadership role has allowed Audrey to see the importance of dedicated guidance in the community and the challenges faced.

Audrey appreciates creating smiles for neglected and depressed elderly. The direct hands-on involvement for the Boys and Girls Club and behind the scenes knowledge helps better understand the necessary connectivity required from all departments for continued success.

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