By Kyle Hietala
Education: Rising Senior at Woodrow Wilson High School
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
A Senior at Wilson High School, Cam might be the youngest intern in Central Office, but his knack for numbers and business has helped him to thrive. He completes many different tasks around the office on a given day, but he’s usually working with data in Excel, validating receipts and expense reports, or assisting with communications and scheduling for different departments. Cam ended up working in Central Office because of the Finance Academy at his high school. He thinks his internship is good preparation for further education in business or investment banking, two interests he’s excited to pursue full-time in college.
At Wilson High School, Cam founded the Black Student Union, an organization that he created to help students bridge cultural divides and build friendships. “A lot of people only hang out with certain people because they don’t understand the cultures of other people,” Cam observed. “BSU is open to anyone, it was founded to help other students understand black culture and the black community,” he said. One of his favorite events that his group puts on is a karaoke lunch, where, “all kinds of kids–black kids, white kids, Asian kids, Hispanic kids, everyone–come together to listen and sing along to music by black artists.” Indeed, Cam thinks it’s “easier for people to connect when they have an understanding of each other’s backgrounds,” and he’s committed to helping his classmates to form relationships they might not otherwise develop.
“Some black kids at my school don’t always feel comfortable being in AP classes because they’re worried there won’t be other kids who look like them,” he reflected.” This frustrates him, because, “a lot of kids are smart, but they don’t always step out of their comfort zones to take on classes like that,” he said. In his time at Wilson, Cam has balanced a rigorous schedule with a huge time commitment of being the point guard for his school’s basketball team, something that has taught him to manage his own time more effectively. He hopes that more of his classmates will feel comfortable taking on similar challenges, and he’s grateful to programs like Tenacity Class, an intensive career and etiquette crash-course, for giving him additional confidence to push himself athletically and academically.
As for working in the office, Cam said that the challenge is “finding a balance between just being yourself and being professional.” But Cam is pretty sure that he’s struck that balance. Finding it has been a confidence boost and a confirmation that he’s on the right track to working in business or finance and making a lot of money. He is looking forward to his senior year of high school, applying to Rutgers and Virginia Commonwealth University, and cheering on the Washington Wizards (though he admitted that his favorite basketball player is Kyrie Irving.)