DowntownDC BID Hosts SYEP Interns for the 13th Year
By Roquois Clarke
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) hosted seven talented youth this summer as part of D.C.'s Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
This summer marked the 13th year the BID served as a host employer for the program, which is operated through the District Department of Employment Services (DOES) to provide District youth ages 14 to 24 with summer work experience in local private and government employers. A program that previously capped its youth participation age at 22, it was expanded in 2015 to 23 and 24 year olds, giving more youth an opportunity to participate and succeed in the workforce. For some of these young adults, the city also extended the program through September 30, providing more in depth experience.
This year, the BID's interns learned a variety of skills in various departments. For at least one participant, Timothy Bolden, the program led to the offer of a full-time position at the end of September. Timothy will join the Downtown SAM program as a maintenance ambassador in the operations department.
The BID is pleased to have Timothy move into full-time employment, and hopes to expand these opportunities for other successful SYEP grads in the future.
Learn about each of the BID's 2016 interns below:
Timothy Bolden, 23, Operations
Timothy spent his internship in operations where he helped anyone who needed an extra hand. He assisted with trash collection, street cleaning, and interacting with the public. After a conversation with Director of Public Space Operations Kristi Whitfield that ended with her recommendation to Timothy to "impress her," Timothy did just that and landed a full time position with the Operations department.
Fun Facts: Timothy enjoys working outdoors.
Mark Carroll, 18, Operations
This summer was Mark's fourth year in SYEP and his first working in the Operations department at the BID. Mark spent his time helping the public and helping keep the neighborhood clean. Mark expressed that working for the BID helped him to develop a sense of order and time management. Mark plans to join the U.S. Army and eventually become a personal trainer
Fun Facts: Mark enjoys physical fitness activities and he loves spending time with nice, friendly people.
Alixha Garner, 22, Operations
Alixha spent her internship working with the hospitality division of the Operations department where she reported street conditions and assisted the public with directions and answered questions. This was her first year with SYEP and she said she plans to attend the University of the District of Columbia in the fall for business. Alixha plans to become an entrepreneur and start her own hair and makeup business. Alixha shared that working for the BID greatly improved her sense of direction and she would love to return to the BID in the future.
Fun Facts: Alixha loves to do hair and makeup.
Santana Holmes, 18, Communications
Santana was placed in the communications department. Her position involved communicating with the public and providing them with various information and helping out with the BID events such as DowntownDC LIVE and Jazz at Franklin Park. Santana will be attending Kent State University in the fall to major in finance. Santana stated her time at the BID was her favorite job thus far and that she hopes to return next summer.
Fun Facts: Santana has a dog names Sage, which she will be sad to leave behind when she attends college. She also enjoys jumping double dutch and collecting teddy bears.
Donte Moten, 18, Finance
Donte worked in the BID’s Finance department under the tutelage of BID Chief Financial Officer Bertha Gaymon. The finance department handles every aspect of the BID's assessments and Donte expressed how accomplished he felt when he learned how to read property tax bills. Donte has an interest in one day becoming an entrepreneur and owning his own recreational center. He said his time in the finance department was eye opening. Donte hopes to obtain a second internship with the MGM Grand and has an interest in the military to help develop new physical training programs.
Fun Facts: Donte was state champion at North Point High School for track. He enjoys playing the drums at his church. He loves physical fitness and he also enjoys reading relationship books.
Emoni Williams, 19, National Cherry Blossom Festival
The BID-sponsored National Cherry Blossom Festival welcomed Emoni as an SYEP intern this summer. Emoni worked with the festival's finance department where she completed tasks such as researching food vendors and working with spreadsheets. Emoni will be attending Tennessee State in the fall and will major in mass communications.
Fun Facts: Emoni enjoys meeting new people.
Ronella Williams, 23, Economic Development
The BID this year welcomed back Ronella, who received the DOES Outstanding Youth Award. Ronella returned back a third summer as an SYEP intern for the Economic Development department. This year, Ronella served as the primary data collector for the BID’s annual retail survey, which tracks and reports retail activity in the BID area. Ronella, who was featured in a Washington City Paper article this summer, stated that she appreciated the opportunities the BID has enabled her to gain by working with various departments and attending events around downtown. Ronella is preparing to attend Bowie State University this fall where she will be completing her bachelors degree in criminal justice. She hopes to one day become a crime scene investigator.
Fun Facts: Ronella loves giving back and helping the homeless. She is always striving for self-improvement and loves to travel.