Mesquite, Texas – Twenty-six high school students have completed the City of Mesquite’s Summer Youth Internship Program, the largest cohort to participate in the initiative.
The interns were celebrated and recognized on July 24 for finishing the six-week paid internship program. The teens, ages 15-17, gained experience through job skills and making potential career connections.
This year, students were paid interns with local businesses and organizations including Farmers Insurance Agent Sabrina Hosein, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Mesquite, and Sharing Life Community Outreach. Interns also worked in departments within the City of Mesquite including Housing and Community Services, Facilities Maintenance, Parks and Recreation, Animal Services, Keep Mesquite Beautiful, Library Services, and Mesquite Arts Center.
“Being an intern was a great learning experience,” said Javonte Jones, a 15-year-old student at Vanguard High School. Javonte worked with Keep Mesquite Beautiful (KMB). “I met a lot of important people in Mesquite, helping with events, and assisted with administrative work. When I go to get a job next year when I’m 16, I will have a leg up on the competition.”
Javonte’s supervisor, KMB Executive Director Jonathan Chitty, said it was a pleasure to work with him and the other interns who helped the organization during a busy summer season.
“Our interns worked hard. They were out pulling weeds at 7 a.m. on the Butterfly Trail, they helped us do a litter inventory, and they were a part of planning, setting up, hosting, and tearing down for our Monarch Fest we just had,” Chitty said. “It was wonderful to have interns. They will be missed.”
The magic of the Summer Youth Internship Program is that interns are able to select their area of interest and are placed accordingly, said Sandra Lopez-Rangel, Mesquite’s Community Development Block Grant Coordinator.
“At the end of the summer, we want students to feel this was a good use of their time and see the benefit,” Lopez-Rangel said. “Internships are truly the best way to explore career paths.”
City Manager Cliff Keheley said internships give young workers an advantage in a competitive job market.
“This program gives high school students insight into different careers while teaching them the basics of working life, such as being on time, answering a phone call properly, and completing tasks,” Keheley said. “We would like for the program to continue to expand and see more local businesses host an intern.
Each intern received a Certificate of Achievement for completing the program and a letter of recommendation from their supervisors.
Congratulations to the 2023 Summer Youth Internship Program cohort: Michelle Anyaegbu, Nicole Bocanegra, Eric Browning, Kamilah Castillo, Kamile Cole, Shaniah Caufield, Xavier Davis, Zeneida Diaz, Noah Faucette, Yaretzi Funes, Abraham Gracia, Ezra Gracia, Zuleyka Giron, Javonte Jones, Caius Henderon, Mauricio Lara, Angelina Mashburn, Anthony Montague, Akunnaya Nkemkaudo, Victoria Offord, Jorge Oronia, Reagan Prewitt, Kayla Rorie, Yaneli Valdovinos, Mackenzie Ware, and Cara Wikoff.