It is not often that the opportunity to go on a paid trip to Washington D.C. starts through an Instagram photo. After a San Gabriel alumnus shared her photos of her trip to Washington D.C. on Instagram last year, senior Yu Lin Ma immediately took interest.
Deciding to follow in the footsteps of the alumnus, Ma applied for a scholarship funded by the Bank of America. After going through the application process, such as listing extracurricular activities, answering questions about participation in the community, and writing an essay, Bank of America selected Ma as a student leader through the Student Leaders Program. This program awards eligible high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity for a paid summer internship with local nonprofits.
“I needed money for college, [and] rather than just handing you free money, the program is giving you experience that you could learn and grow from,” Ma said. “The trip to D.C. was alluring and I’m just a sucker for new experiences.”
After finding out that she had been selected as a leader, Ma shared her thoughts on being awarded with this opportunity.
“I was surprised mostly, because I was notified way earlier than I thought,” Ma said. “Overall, [I am] happy, because now I don’t have to struggle when people ask me what I’m doing this summer.”
Ma stated what she looks forward to and how this trip will help her in her future endeavors.
“I’m looking forward to [attending] luncheons and dinners with influential people in government and visiting the White House,” Ma said. “I don’t really know what I want to do in the future, so this is going to help me branch out and get a taste of the government and service sector, and what they do.”
From July 10-15, Ma will be in Washington D.C. carrying out her paid internship and will start school at University of California, San Diego in the fall