DowntownDC BID Hosts MBSYEP Interns for the 14th Year

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

By Ebony P. Walton

Ready. Set. Work. The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) hosted seven students this summer as part of D.C.'s Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP).  

This summer marked the 14th 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 for six weeks with local private and government employers. 

The DowntownDC BID's interns worked diligently this summer and had the opportunity to learn more about what a BID is and how the organization functions as well as gain professional skills for their future careers. Five of the BID's interns worked for the Operations department, which manages the DowntownDC BID's on-the-street ambassadors, one worked in the BID's finance department and one for the economic development department.

Learn about each of the BID's 2017 interns below:

Christian Ballard, 20, Operations

Christian assisted with trash collection and street cleaning. Christian said he learned a lot about the DowntownDC area and enjoyed working with the staff. 

Christian is a sophomore at the University of the District of Columbia.

Fun Facts: Christian enjoys playing basketball and is considering a career in hospitality. 

Bethlehem Melaku, 19, Finance

Bethlehem worked with the Finance Department this summer and provided assistance with check processing, property assessment credits and a range of other finance responsibilities. She enjoyed learning about the area and said she didn’t know there were so many free things to do in DowntownDC.

Born in Ethiopia, Bethlehem has only been in the United States for four years. She listened to National Public Radio (NPR) to learn English.

Bethlehem is a sophomore, finance major at Whittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Fun Facts: Bethlehem enjoys drawing and hanging out with friends. She has one brother.

Danae Roach, 22, Operations

Danae assisted with litter removal and clean up in Franklin Park. Danae says this internship was a humbling experience. She enjoyed interacting with different people. Danae says she learned compassion, patience and discovered a lot about the DowntownDC area. 

Danae is a senior at Trinity Washington University and is interested in becoming a probation officer.

Fun Facts: Danae enjoys cooking, going to the movies and eating. 

Britteny Sawyer, 19, Operations

Britteny expressed pride in cleaning the streets and said it was nice to see an area transformed because of her efforts. Britteny says she learned to be patient and appreciated the positive working environment. 

Britteny is a freshman mechanical engineering major at Montgomery College.

Fun Facts: Britteny enjoys traveling, baking and trying new things. 

Antonio Singleton, 20, Operations

Antonio said being on his feet all the time working with the maintenance ambassadors was an unexpected, but humbling experience. 

Antonio is a sophomore liberal studies major at the University of the District of Columbia and is interested in forensic science. 

Fun Facts: Antonio enjoys working out, shopping and has three sisters.

Christian Sutton, 20, Operations

Christian worked this summer to help keep DowntownDC clean, safe and friendly. He said he enjoyed the comradery and family atmosphere. 

Christian is sophomore business major at the University of the District of Columbia and wants to be an entrepreneur. 

Fun Facts: Christian enjoys reading, playing basketball and working out. He is currently reading, “The Choice is Yours,” by John Maxwell.

Ronella Williams, 23, Economic Development

The BID was happy to welcome back Ronella, who returned for a fourth summer as an MBSYEP intern for the BID's economic development department. Ronella continued her role as the primary data collector for the BID’s annual retail survey, which tracks and reports retail activity in the BID area. Ronella said that she continues to come back to the BID to learn additional skills and continue her workforce development. 

Ronella is a senior criminal justice major at Bowie State University and would like to work in the forensic science field.

Fun Facts: Ronella enjoys biking, traveling and spending time with family.