Summer Youth Enriched by DowntownDC BID in 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

By Adrian

This summer, eight D.C. students temporarily joined the DowntownDC BID staff to learn firsthand about communications, economic development, operations, special events and more as part of the city's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which connects District youth ages 14-21 with city employers.

The students from June 30-Aug. 8 served as summer interns, earned money and gained valuable work and professional experience at the BID, which has served as a host employer in the Department of Employment Services (DOES) program for the past 11 years. 

At the conclusion of the program, all participants created and issued a presentation to BID staff regarding their work. These presentations were in the form of PowerPoint slides, video and more, offering recaps of the knowledge they gained at the BID and their abilities.

Three participants, Derrick Bowman, Jeffrey Stone and Raheem Turner, were paired with the BID's operations department with the Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance employees (SAMs). They were recently recognized by the BID Operations' leadership for their service. 

[Read more about the SYEP Operations interns' contributions and recognition here.] 

Below, learn a little more about the remaining five SYEP participants and their work here at the BID in 2014:

Jai Li Dong, 18

Jai Li worked in the BID's finance department where she learned accounting practices. She said she enjoyed learning about cash receipts, fixed assets, depreciation, tax billing procedures and finance and accounting policies and procedures at the BID. Jai Li is a sophomore at Georgetown University majoring in international business and finance. She serves as a financial aid peer counselor and also volunteers to help those less fortunate. She aspires to one day own an invention company. For the present time, Jai Li said she will continue to pursue her education at Georgetown and hopes to obtain a master's degree.

Breana Lamar, 20

Breana worked for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, of which the BID is a sponsor. She handled administrative and clerical work for the festival, including research, filing, creating spreadsheets and participating in meetings. Breana is a junior at Barry University studying athletic training with a minor in nutrition. She hopes to one day earn her PhD in physical therapy and open her own rehabilitation clinic. Breana enjoys dance in her spare time.

Tyrone Littman, 19

Tyrone was placed with the BID's communication department. He learned Salesforce and inputted BID data, he helped record voiceovers, shot video and conducted reporting. Tyrone said he enjoyed the Thursday training sessions provided by the BID. Tyrone is a junior at North Carolina A&T State University majoring in broadcast production. Tyrone's immediate goal is to become the first person is his immediate family to graduate college. 

Chantal Robinson, 21

Chantal was placed with the BID's communications department where she was tasked with establishing a new digital photo organization system and helped create marketing fliers. Chantal helped run events, shot b-roll footage and took photographs. Chantal is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University who is majoring in fine art/painting and printmaking. She hopes to get a job after school as a graphic designer for a local company or eventually relocate to New York City or California for a design-related job. Chantal enjoys riding her bike, running, chatting with close friends and surfing the internet. 

Ronella Williams, 20

Ronella worked in the BID's economic development department where she enhanced her Microsoft Office skills, learned to use Tableau and completed an annual retail survey for the BID cataloging all Downtown retailers. Ronella also had the opportunity to chart crime statistics in Tableau for Downtown, something related to her field of study in school. Ronella is a junior at the Allegany College of Maryland studying criminal justice. She hopes to become a probation officer.