Interns celebrated the end of the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s annual Do Your B.E.S.T. internship program at a luncheon.

The six-week Do Your B.E.S.T. (Building Excellence through Service and Training) program, which provides meaningful summer jobs to youth living in DCHA properties or who are a part of DCHA voucher programs, just completed its 20th successful season.

“There is no better investment we can make than investing in our young folks. You are the future of this country,” said Interim Executive Director Nathan Bovelle. “We have the awesome responsibility to instill in you the skills to do that.”

The 60 Do Your B.E.S.T. employees worked throughout DCHA’s portfolio and also at a number of external sites. Each year, DCHA works to secure more and more positions in companies, non-profits, and outside of DCHA’s portfolio for our youth.

Bovelle encouraged the youth to value the interactions with mentors, parents, and those who try to guide or lead them in the right direction for their future success, such as the woman who created the DYB program 20 years ago, Toyia Taylor.

She said she wanted a program “that made sure you had a foundation to take you where you needed to be in life.”

Taylor encouraged the youth to find mentors who challenge them and to make themselves a commodity to that person. She said each person must have a plan and make decisions that serve the goals of that plan.

“Always remember you are young, gifted, and black. Take advantage of that,” she said.

In addition to their internships, DYB youth participated in workforce development workshops, community service, and went on a college tour of Temple University.

Ron Fisher, the DYB program administrator, said he was proud of everyone and he and the DCHA team will always be available to the youth in the future, no matter their needs.

“When people say you can’t do something, prove them wrong and achieve it,” he said.

Several of the youth spoke to their peers, highlighting what they learned and how it will impact their choices. Many of the DYB participants also received honors for integrity, leadership, outstanding performance, perfect attendance, and other awards.

Since 1997, through partnerships with more than 260 host sites in private and public sector agencies and organizations, the Do Your BEST program has employed over 1,300 youth.



DYB Class of 2017
Toyia Taylor
Interim Director Nathan Bovelle
Interns took turns presenting guests, accepting awards, and thanking sponsors.
DCHA Commissioners Kenneth Council, Aquarius Vann-Ghasri, Shelore Fisher, and Frank Lancaster with Toyia Taylor (center)
Last modified: 8/18/2017 2:21:58 PM