Earlier this summer, Goodwill of Orange County partnered with Bank of America to provide an inside look at the organization through an engaging internship for two local high school students through Bank of America’s Student Leaders program. The philanthropic program offers young people in Orange County an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit to help improve their communities.
Matthew Jacquez, La Habra resident and graduate of La Habra High School and Miguel Quiroz, Santa Ana resident and graduate of Santa Ana Valley High School, were selected by Bank of America’s Student Leaders program to join the Goodwill of Orange County team for eight weeks this summer. Matthew and Miguel were chosen through a rigorous process of more than 100 applicants.
Both Matthew and Miguel graduated top of their classes in high school and had previous experience with helping people with barriers or underprivileged youth, making them ideal internship candidates for Goodwill of Orange County.
Through Student Leaders, Bank of America helps young people gain meaningful work experience, broaden their perspectives on how nonprofits serve community needs and advance their civic engagement.
“I loved working at Goodwill of Orange County,” said Matthew Jacquez. “I grew professionally and personally as I experienced the intersection of business and public service first-hand through the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit.”
Matthew and Miguel spent time in various departments within the Goodwill operation, including Human Services, Marketing and E-Commerce. They prepared for the annual audit, shadowed executives, designed wellness flyers for employees, and visited program participants at organizations and businesses across Orange County. The important tasks required critical thinking skills while also utilizing their passion and creativity for the nonprofit and business industries.
“I learned so much from Goodwill of Orange County,” said Miguel Quiroz. “I was treated more like an employee than an intern. The respect I received from Goodwill of OC employees was as if I had worked there for 10 years.”
Matthew spent a majority of his time with Human Services, observing the complexity and legal coordination involved in the department. He also learned about the on-boarding, auditing, training and employee relations at Goodwill of OC.
Miguel was very interested in Goodwill of Orange County’s e-commerce platform, shopgoodwill.com. He gained insight on how the online entity operates and supports the larger Goodwill mission.
“shopgoodwill.com opened my mind to see how you can make a profit and more importantly, continue to live the Goodwill mission of helping people facing barriers to employment find and keep jobs,” said Miguel.
Both Matthew and Miguel agreed that meeting Nicole Suydam, president and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County, was a highlight of their experience. They discussed with her their feedback on the organization and learned about how the leadership team respects the opinions of its employees and program participants.
Matthew is attending Stanford University and Miguel is headed to University of California, Berkeley this fall.
We can’t thank Matthew and Miguel enough for their important contributions to Goodwill of Orange County this past summer. We are excited to see all that you both accomplish in the future!