Autumn, Schylar, and Elisabeth pose for a picture after their Senior Awards Banquet.

You may have noticed an increased presence on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page this past year. We have three outstanding students from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School to thank for demonstrating who we are in words and action.

I (LaDessa Mitchell) met Autumn and Elisabeth while serving as a Guest Teacher for a course on workplace communication. It seemed like they were inseparable. They arrived and departed from class with each other and always worked on their assignments together. A few conversations revealed that their cherished friendship began in childhood. Their diligence and the ease in which they seem to produce excellence caught my attention. Through her resume writing assignment, I discovered that Autumn aspired to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning author—and she has what it takes to do just that. Elisabeth was unsure of her career goals but her academic record will take her far. She is ranked in fourth place out of her graduating class of 130.

Schylar began the year as a volunteer intern with St. Joseph’s Hospital and after a job well done, she set out for a new challenge. She transitioned to the role of Social Media Intern for MERGE during the second half of the academic year. We came to appreciate Schylar’s larger-than-life affinity for life experience packed in a pint-sized frame. Her ability to successfully manage rigorous coursework and meet obligations to the National Science Honor Society and other organizations is impressive.

To say that it was an honor to have these hard working ladies as interns is an understatement. Autumn, Elisabeth and Schylar will attend University of South Florida. Not only did these ladies excel in their academic work at BDCHS, they earned college credits by taking courses at Hillsborough Community College and worked part-time outside of MERGE. Although our interns participate on a voluntary basis, they gain work experience which is of great value to their career.  Here’s what these students had to say:

This internship experience was a great opportunity for me to learn about networking and how to communicate and collaborate online. I appreciate the opportunity to work for a non-profit organization and would do it again if I had the chance to. – Elisabeth

While doing this internship, I learned that I still have a passion for editing and publishing and could potentially be good at it. – Autumn

As I entered high school I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do in the future. I chose multiple different careers that I had little knowledge on or experience in–many of which were worlds apart. Artist, English teacher, magazine writer, veterinarian, psychiatrist, YouTuber, hairdresser–the list goes on. I am so glad I interned in two areas that would help me reshape my idea of what I want to do–not just when I grow up, but now. – Schylar

If you are interested in becoming an intern for MERGE, please contact us: