News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2017
Media Contact:
Rona Bellamy

Students weigh future careers upon completing Commissioner Jordan’s internship program

Tivia Rouland, center, of Commissioner Barbar's Jordan's office, is joined, from left, by interns Jordan Reid, Ashlei Russell, Beverly Graham and Tyler-Ann Gilzene as they collect their certificates upon completion of their summer internships.
(Photos by Ryan Holloway / Miami-Dade County)

MIAMI – Dominic Rivera, a 17-year-old senior at the Terra Environmental Research Institute, started a non-profit called the Free Clinic Corporation in an effort to assist impoverished communities in Haiti. Rivera ultimately plans to help build infrastructure in Haiti to help relieve overcrowding. But his first step towards that goal was completing an internship as part of Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s Summer Youth Internship Initiative (SYII).

“This will be the second year that I’ve participated in this internship program,” Rivera said proudly. “I have a passion for becoming a civil engineer. I learned to read blueprints for highways and bridges, managed paperwork, and learned IT systems. Hopefully more students will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

For eight to 10 weeks, 35 students were paid to work in County government and the private sector as part of the SYII program. Students underwent an extensive interview process and were required to attend a daylong orientation session with a motivational speaker, life coach and several entrepreneurs. High school students from Miami Carol City High School, iPreparatory Academy, Terra Environmental Research Institute, and Mast @ FIU participated in the program, along with college students from Florida Memorial University (FMU), St. Thomas University, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, Southern Adventist University, University of Miami, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Bethune Cookman University.

Lamonte' Sands, a native of the Bahamas, has dreamed for years of becoming an oncologist and hopes to one day provide free health care in impoverished communities. Sands, who is currently majoring in Biology at Florida Memorial University, just completed her internship at Jackson Health System.

“My interest grew more toward the administrative side of the health care field. I formed relationships with hospital staff. God used this opportunity to open permanent doors in my life.”

Joelle Angrand, 20, is majoring in history and English at FSU and plans to attend law school so that she can become a prosecutor. Angrand worked at Commissioner Jordan’s offices. She said attending a County Commission meeting gave her insight on how the governmental process works.

“I was fortunate to attend a County Commission meeting and saw firsthand how decisions are made. It was fascinating,” she said.

Kemika Lundy, 20, is majoring in Biology/Pre-nursing at Florida Memorial University. She was an intern at Jackson Health System.

“I shadowed the nurses and lactationist at Jackson North. I had the best mentors and opportunities,” Lundy said. “My advice is: if opportunity doesn’t knock, build your own door.”

Ato Watson, 20, majoring in Computer Information Systems at Florida Memorial University, worked as an intern at EAC Consulting.

“My internship provided practical skills and I gained hands-on experience in the computer field,” Watson said. “Thank you to Commissioner Jordan for hosting this life-changing experience. This has opened my mind to becoming a network engineer.”

Business partners for the 2017 Summer Youth Internship Initiative were 300 Engineering Group, P.A., American Airlines, Atlantic Pacific Communities, Calder Casino, Dade County Federal Credit Union, EAC Consulting, Inc., El Dorado Furniture, Experience Aviation, Fontainebleau Aviation, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jackson Health System, Jesus People Ministries Church International, MCO Construction and Services, Inc., Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), Miami Dolphins, North Pointe YMCA Family Center, Office of Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, Orange Bowl Committee, Orion Jet Center, and Warren Henry Auto Group.

Intern Ato Watson, second from left, is joined, from left, by Patrick Johnson of EAC Consulting Inc., Tivia Rouland of Commissioner Jordan's office and Kimberly Woods EAC Consulting Inc.