This story was originally published in ABC Newspapers by Olivia Alveshere on August 15, 2015.
Coon Rapids High School senior Mark Daml finished up an eight-week internship with the Hennepin Theatre Trust last week.
Daml secured the internship through the Bank of America Student Leaders program, in its second year in Minnesota.
The Bank of America Student Leaders program invites high school juniors and seniors to apply for a paid summer internship with a local nonprofit and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a Student Leadership Summit.
Daml was selected as one of five Minnesota student leaders during his junior year. “Right away his application jumped out to us because he had all of the passion and energy,” said Ali Larkins, Bank of America assistant vice president, corporate social responsibility project manager. “He also had all of this really impressive and tangible experience both from a leadership and business perspective with his DECA experience, as well as his volunteering experience.”
Daml has been involved in DECA, an organization aimed at helping students pursue careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management, since starting high school and intends to continue with the organization in his final year at CRHS.
“I hope to really be a mentor to the younger DECA students,” he said.
Daml serves as vice president of civic consciousness for his DECA Chapter. At CRHS, Daml has helped organize a number of events, including the Prom Fashion Show and Coon Rapids Man Pageant, donating all profits to charity.
Involved in the College Possible program, Daml was required to seek out some sort of summer enrichment opportunity going into his senior year, and he stumbled across the Bank of America Student Leaders program.
“This was one that really stuck out to me,” Daml said.
Some time after being selected for the program, Daml learned he and the other four Minnesota student leaders would be interning for the Hennepin Theatre Trust.
Daml was in several theater productions in middle school, and although he fell away from the stage in high school, busy with choir, swimming, tennis and other activities, he still appreciates the arts and was excited for the opportunity.
The interns started June 15 and took on a variety of tasks.
“I’ve done some really cool things,” he said, citing working on marketing and sales plans, cleaning the attic of the historic Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, and loading the set for the Broadway touring production of “Kinky Boots” as some highlights.
Daml intends to pursue a career in business after graduating from CRHS, and working on marketing plans during this internship experience helped him solidify that marketing is his desired path into the business world.
“Having the experience in real life and really seeing how it works has really drawn me to that side of business,” Daml said.
“That’s what the program is really all about from a Bank of America perspective – taking the students with high potential and the ability and desire to impact the community and using (the program) as a launching point to direct that energy and experience toward their career path,” Larkins said.
Daml treasures the relationships formed both though his internship and during the weeklong Student Leadership Summit July 11-17.
Daml joined approximately 200 other student leaders in D.C.
“They’re all smart, really open-minded students,” he said, adding that he keeps in touch with some over social media.
While in Washington, D.C., Daml was able to meet with Sen. Al Franken and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff.
“It was a really eye-opening experience,” Daml said.
After a formal presentation to Bank of America staff Aug. 6, the internship concluded Aug. 7. But Daml will continue to use the experience to sharpen his leadership skills during his final year at CRHS and beyond.