Collegiate and high school students dabble in aviation and construction management during internship program sponsored by Commissioner Jordan
Left: Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan joins interns in the Summer Youth Internship Initiative program in filling boxes with food for the needy. Middle: Commissioner Jordan welcomes high school and collegiate students to the SYII program during the orientation session. Right: Aaniyah Sellers (left) and Kasia Tremble (right) receive their program certificates from SYII coordinator Chanae Forshee (middle) during the closing ceremony.
(MIAMI, FL) – While most high school and college students file paperwork during their summer internships, 34 aspiring professionals got real-life experience thanks to Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s Summer Youth Internship Initiative (SYII). For eight to 10 weeks, students were paid to gain valuable work experience in County government and the private sector.
One of the students in the SYII program was 19-year old Alexis Alexander, a sophomore at Florida Memorial University in Miami who is majoring in Criminal Justice. She interned in the exciting field of aviation at Orion Jet Center, which is located at the Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport.
“I found that Orion Jet Center was very family-oriented,” said Alexander, who was ecstatic about her temporary employment experience. “I was able to develop my communication, social, organizational and commercial awareness skills.”
Orion Jet Center is one of the largest independent fixed base operators (FBOs) in the U.S. For the Orange Bowl and Miami Dolphins football games, Orion Jet Center is the FBO of choice for singers, athletes and dignitaries using private aircraft.
“Collectively, businesses in the SYII program are grooming tomorrow’s leaders to carry the torch of providing first-class customer service and industry best practices,” Commissioner Jordan said. “These companies are making an investment in human capital and the students are appreciative of their commitment.”
Nineteen-year old Keith Roye, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, is currently a senior majoring in computer science with a concentration in mathematics at Florida Memorial University. He intends to fulfill his dream of becoming a renowned software engineer.
“Working with the Summer Youth Internship Initiative program has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Roye, who interned at MCO Construction. “It was a very humbling and exciting opportunity for me, as I was taught so many life lessons both in and out of the office.”
MCO Construction Ltd. is a full service construction company that assists with large public and private projects. Roye was under the mentorship of Ann McNeill, who is the president and owner of MCO Construction & Services Inc. He is now confident that if placed in any business situation, he will have the tools necessary to succeed. Roye is grateful for the opportunity.
Entering the SYII program was no walk in the park. Students underwent an extensive interview process. They were also required to attend a daylong orientation session with a motivational speaker, life coach and several entrepreneurs.
Kasia Tremble, a sophomore at Miami Dade College, attended the orientation session, which was inspirational for her since she is majoring in Interior Design. The 19-year old, who is creative in all aspects of life, plans to focus on innovation. This summer, Tremble was placed in Commissioner Jordan’s downtown office, where she obtained experience in local government. She now understands that business owners must interact with the County before launching their establishments.
“Working with District 1 staff was one of the greatest experiences for me,” said Tremble, who attended meetings alongside Commissioner Jordan, which helped her learn about her hometown. “It was like I went behind the scenes of what holds Miami-Dade County together.”
While students in the SYII program concentrated on performing well in the workplace, they also focused on addressing social ills in their community. During one Saturday afternoon, interns helped feed the needy. They partnered with Feeding South Florida to load crates of canned goods, boxed foods and bread for the community.
“My program helps prepare students for social responsibility as well. We have to teach our young people that working hard is not their sole purpose in life. They must also take a vested interest in the less fortunate,” Commissioner Jordan said. “Each year, my goal is to open the window of opportunity for young men and women who are eager to enter the workforce. I feel that it is my obligation to adequately prepare them for real-life situations. I am confident that my office and our business partners have done just that.”
Sponsors for the 2015 Summer Youth Internship Initiative included Orion Jet Center, YMCA, El Dorado Furniture, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, Miami Dolphins, MCO Construction, Global Athletics, AECOM, Jackson Health System, Adrienne Arsht Center, Honey Shine, American Airlines, Jesus People Ministries, Antioch Baptist Church of Carol City, EAC Consulting, Orange Bowl Committee, Fontainebleau Aviation, and the Office of Commissioner Barbara Jordan.