Farmers markets, urban gardening, classroom help and business insight are just a few of the things Aaron Smith learned over the summer.
A recent graduate of The Westminster Schools and recipient of the Bank of America Student Leadership Program, Aaron participated in an eight-week internship with the East Lake Foundation, where he was able to learn a variety of skills.
He said he did everything from picking vegetables in the community-learning garden, assisting with preparations at Drew Charter Elementary School, and learning how a nonprofit runs.
Aaron said he appreciated the experience.
“I’m thankful for [the East Lake Foundation] and Bank of America for the opportunity to learn real skills in running a nonprofit that I hope to use later. I wasn’t just doing intern work like getting coffee or making copies, there was real hands-on learning,” he said.
Aaron’s interests are also reflected in the classroom. John Monahan, Aaron’s senior history teacher, said, “I have no doubt that he’ll use his talent for business and his interest in concepts like equity and efficient to make the world both more profitable and more just.”
Aaron also attended a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. He said the trip provided a chance to learn more about D.C. politics, attend sessions on developing leadership skills, and participate in a service learning project.
The Student Leadership program aims to place teens into local nonprofits to help them gain valuable experience in leadership and commitment found through these summer jobs. Being one of the nearly 220 teens awarded this year, Aaron got to meet other highly motivated peers and further his interests.
Aaron said he hopes to study abroad in France, and wants to find a way to integrate business and education.
“Perhaps I’ll end up in D.C or at the International Monetary Fund, but the career stuff will follow,” he said.
Aaron will attend the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania.
This article was written by Sara Wren, a student at Atlanta International School.