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August 12, 2016

DDC College and High School Interns Cap Off Summer Experience at Closing Ceremony

59 interns finish their summer program at the New York City Department of Design and Construction

DDC’s 2016 high school interns showcase model public projects at Mentor Appreciation Day.
DDC’s 2016 high school interns showcase model public projects at Mentor Appreciation Day

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

Queens, NY— New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) high school and college interns gathered at DDC’s main office in Long Island City today to mark the end of their summer program. The DDC internship program is organized in partnership with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development through DDC’s STEAM education initiative, which was created in 2014 to establish a diverse and inclusive pipeline for New York City's youth to engage in science, technology, engineering, art/architecture, and mathematics. The agency also hosted a middle school summer enrichment program in July for students in the Bronx’s District 9.

“We are happy to have been able to provide hands-on educational and professional experiences to our summer interns,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “There are an abundance of opportunities in the construction industry, especially in New York City, and it is important to guide our future designers and builders with high quality mentorship. I thank the mentors at DDC for helping to contribute to the learning process for our students.”

Group picture of the 2016 college and summer interns
DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora (center) with DDC’s 2016 college and summer interns

“We are extremely proud to send our 2016 high school and college interns out into the world. Our students have been working with some of the best built environment professionals in the industry. The jobs of the future will be found in the architecture and engineering sectors,” said DDC Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis.“It is critically important that we expose our young people to rigor and high expectations of the industry in a professional setting.”

Each intern was assigned to a personal mentor in a specific division of DDC, such as administration, architecture & engineering, community partnerships and STEAM initiatives, infrastructure, Office of the Chief Architect, law/general counsel’s office, program management and public buildings.

The high school interns were introduced to design tools such as Google SketchUp. They developed 3D models, which were presented at Mentor Appreciation Day on August 10. For many students, the internship taught professionalism in addition to technical aspects of working in architecture engineering and construction.

“I’ve learned that you have to meet hard deadlines, be a good team member and be open to collaboration,” said Geovanni Colon, 16, a student at Chelsea CTE high school who was an intern in the project management division. “Eventually I’d like to be a civil engineer. There is real work to be done in the city and this internship opened my eyes to the world of the built environment.

All of the high school interns hailed from New York City. The 30 college interns, a diverse combination of 26 undergraduate students and four graduate students, represented 18 different universities. One third of the college interns hailed from outside the United States, representing countries such as Brazil, India, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Sri Lanka and India. Their internships, which began June 6, included positions within architecture and engineering divisions, the infrastructure division, the office of the chief architect, project controls, the public buildings division, and the safety and site support unit.

The college internship provided students opportunities for practical application of the lessons they’ve learned at their respective universities, said Salma Umar Teekay, 24, who is working on her masters in architecture at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

“Working in school is one thing, but working at DDC is particularly interesting because I had an opportunity to work with the larger community,” said Teekay, who worked in the public buildings division on renovation for the Kings County Court House in Brooklyn Heights. “Your decisions have impact and you get to meet people. It has been a wonderful experience.”

“DDC’s 2016 Summer College Internship program was an overwhelming success with 30 of our brightest most eager students who represent the future engineers, architects, and construction managers of our fine city,” said Associate Commissioner of Human Resources Janice Stroughter.

DDC’s college and high school interns collaborated in organizing activities and on August 1 also participated in a Community Service Day at MS 22 in the Bronx, where they painted a community peace mural; took dance lessons in salsa, bachata and bomba; and participated in a father-son basketball tournament.

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit