Intern learning Y’s ropesPublished 9:04pm Friday, July 5, 2013
From instructing on proper use of the elliptical machine to signing new members, a King’s Fork High School rising senior is learning all about fitness clubs as a YMCA intern.
Erin Banks, whose sights are set on medical science post-school, will finish her eight-week stint at the Godwin Boulevard “Y” next month.
She’s among five current and recently graduated high school students from Southeastern Virginia selected for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Student Leaders program.
“It was recommended to me by a close family friend,” Banks said.
Her duties, she said, have included helping out with personalized fitness program FitQuest — “It helps them get the best possible workout they can” — along with assisting group classes and connecting with prospective new clients out front.
“I have been learning the roles of the fitness director,” Banks said. “It’s basically everything that goes on at the Y.”
The program has included a Bank of America session on finance, she said, and Banks will join other program participants Monday for a weeklong Student Leadership Summit.
According to a news release, the summit will provide a deeper understanding of “how service to others can create a positive change in the world.”
Banks is the founder of Hats for Babies, an initiative to knit hats that are donated to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.
She is also on her school’s varsity volleyball team and in the International Baccalaureate program.
Banks says she wants to attend Brown University in Rhode Island. “I’ve heard they’ve got a really good medical program,” she said.
“I want to go into pediatric neurology. I know it’s going to be a lot of work.”
At the Y, Banks said she is able to squeeze in a group exercise class on a typical day. “I shower, come back and help other people in the cardio room and schedule appointments,” she said.
The program, she said, is giving her the experience of serving the community and establishing relationships, “and helping them get healthy.”
“It’s really being able to interact with members,” she said.
The program supports 225 paid internships at local nonprofit organizations across the nation, the release states.
With Virginia’s youth unemployment rate at 16.8 percent, the program is all about bolstering work and life skills, it adds.
“Our Student Leaders program provides them the opportunity to earn and learn, while increasing the capacity of nonprofits to serve critical community needs,” Charlie Henderson, Hampton Roads market president for Bank of America, stated in the release.