By Brittany Sharnsky, SA2020 team member and Ambassador for Downtown Development
Here’s the thing—Millennials get a bad rap, but they’re kind of my favorite people (and not just because I am one). Even though Millennials are chided for tweeting, facebooking and instagramming more than we interact face-to-face, feelings of entitlement, and lazy narcissism (did I mention that I am one?), I would challenge you to see them differently: as important actors in realizing the SA2020 vision.
When the staff at SA2020 welcomed six recent college graduates and one current undergraduate from Trinity University, I don’t think we expected to get the amazing and highly capable talent we ended up with. Contrary to the Millennial stereotypes, these Fellows worked 40 hours a week at SA2020 Lead Partner organizations rather than sleeping on their parent’s couches. Instead of lounging around for the summer celebrating the end of college and burdening the economy, they approached SA2020 work with gusto and passion that is infectious and would shame those who say Millenials are lazy and disconnected.
Continuing the trend of bucking the Millennial stereotypes, I am abundantly pleased to report that all six of our Trinity Graduates obtained jobs immediately following their summer fellowship (HOORAY!). Three of the six took #IAmSA2020 so literally they are continuing their summer work on SA2020 indicators at Lead Partner organizations. Let me brag on them a little bit:
Kanika Singh is a Research Associate at the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) in the SA2020 Economic Competitiveness Cause Area. She is focused on workforce development in the IT and manufacturing sectors and general research. Check out her summer research paper “From High School Student to Employee: A Proposal for A Citywide Internship Program in San Antonio.”
Hannah Monroe is working as the SA2020 Neighborhoods Liaison at SAHA while simultaneously interning at the First Presbyterian Church on a University and Young Adults summer fellowship. Read her summer research paper “Collective Impact: Strengthening Collaboration Between the Wheatley Choice Neighborhood, Eastside Promise Neighborhood and SA2020 Initiatives.”
Nicole Goodman is a Research Analyst/Project Manager at Centro Partnership, SA2020 Lead Partner in Downtown Development. She is working on creating a database to inventory and categorize all downtown businesses and building uses within the Public Improvement District (PID), the Central Business District (CBD), and the greater downtown area. She is also developing a work plan to enhance all future SA2020 work groups in Downtown Development, keeping all data up to date through collaboration with GIS researchers in the downtown area and writing papers on downtown issues. Check out her summer research paper “Downtown San Antonio and Arts and Culture: The Potential for Improving Quality of Life in Our Community.”
All of our summer fellows are shining beacons of the sheer talent Millennials are ready to share and put to good use. They challenge us as a city to think of more ways to plug twenty-somethings in to the work we do day-in and day-out. As an SA2020 staffer, I sleep better at night knowing we have Kanika, Hannah and Nicole working hard each day to help us realize the SA2020 vision in three of our cause areas. I can’t wait to welcome the next cohort of summer fellows… my goal is 100% employed by the end of the summer, working on SA2020 indicators with SA2020 Lead and Opportunity Partners. I’m totally in favor of directing this abundantly selfless talent and energy into San Antonio to help reach our vision for the city, and further destroy the myth of self-centered Millennial worthlessness (I am one, too, in case you missed that).