Damani Hood is one of 15 summer interns at Children’s Home & Aid. His internship, through the Bank of America Student Leaders Program, consists of two months working in the agency’s Resource Development department and the Ahlquist Center for Policy, Practice & Innovation. We’ll be introducing our interns through the summer, sharing their experiences at Children’s Home & Aid.

Below is Damani’s own words of his trip to Washington, D.C. through the Bank of America program.

My name is Damani Hood and I am a Bank of America Student Leader. The program allows for youth who have demonstrated civic engagement in their communities to participate in an eight-week internship with local nonprofits, such as Children’s Home & Aid. Within those eight weeks, students participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C.

During the five-day long excursion to Washington, D.C, I had the opportunity to visit numerous attractions.  Some of my favorite locations were Capitol Hill, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Library of Congress, and the White House.  I enjoyed viewing the architecture and taking pictures of the buildings. It was also very interesting to learn more about the history of the United States and how we came to be the nation we are today.

Though filled with amazing tourist experiences, the other portion of our trip focused on our meetings with political leaders from our hometowns. The other Chicago Student Leaders and I met Representative Daniel K. Davis from Illinois’s 7th Congressional District and Sam Coffey, a legislative correspondent for Senator Dick Durbin. These meetings were inspiring because many people are not afforded an opportunity to meet their elected officials or discuss political issues with them, such as minority education in STEM fields and underserved communities in Chicago.

Along with my elected officials, I met the other Bank of America Student Leaders.

Many of them worked with nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America or Habitat for Humanity.  Even with our varying employment, we all connected so well because we are passionate and driven to make change in our communities around the world.  My afternoon and evenings were filled with incredible debates and endless jokes that I will share with them forever.  From the sands of California all the way to the suburbs of New York, I met the future leaders of society who will advance the world and I cannot wait to see what we can do.