Building Belmont’s Best interns have completed the first month of their 8-week internship that started May 1, 2019. Each intern can potentially earn $500 for completing at least 10 hours each week at their assigned Belmont Business. Internship funds were provided by the city of Charlotte’s JumpStart Safety micro grant through Housing and Neighborhood Services. The goal of our inaugural Belmont internship is to provide a career opportunity for two neighborhood teens providing professional development through relationship building, social capital, and hands-on experience. Our interns, Eric Degree (Sweet Lew’s BBQ) and Alivia Thomas (Queen’s Coffee Bar), shared their experience so far.

Alivia Thomas, Senior at West Charlotte High School, Queen’s Coffee Bar

 1.What inspired you to apply for the internship?
would like to own a bakery one day.
 2. What do you hope to learn from interning?
I want to learn what it takes to own a business. So far, I have learned that there are pros and cons to owning a business. Pros: meeting people, making money, designing your space. Cons: sometimes customers are few, bad reviews directly impact business, you can run out of marketing ideas. 
 3. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?
You have to have many different ways to bring people into the restaurant.
4. What are your plans after High School?
I plan to attend Johnson and Wales University – Charlotte
 5. What is your favorite thing about living in the Belmont Neighborhood?
I like the surrounding nature and how the neighborhood has changed (development).
 6. What is the best part of working in the Belmont Neighborhood?
The people you meet. I like working at Queen’s because it is small and close to my house.
7. Anything you’d like to add to the blog about your experience? 
I feel safe in Belmont. While visiting a Belmont restaurant recently, I did hear gunshots nearby. Community meetings can help to improve the safety of our community.

Eric Degree, sophomore at Harding High School, Sweet Lew’s BBQ

1. What inspired you to apply for the internship?
I applied for this internship because I am eager to learn new business skills.
2. What do you hope to learn from interning?
I hope to learn how to interact with other people in a working environment.
3. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?
I have learned how to be professional in a work place.
4. What are your plans after High School?
Mechanical Engineering
5. What is your favorite thing about living in the Belmont Neighborhood?
My favorite thing about living in the Belmont neighborhood is that it is close to Uptown.
6. What is the best part of working in the Belmont Neighborhood?
I like working in Belmont because I am already adapted to the environment. 
 7. Anything you’d like to add to the blog about your experience?
I feel safe in Belmont. I have heard about house break-ins. I believe we could make our neighborhood safer with cameras and house alarms.
I would recommend this internship to other teens in Belmont. Sweet Lew’s BBQ is a family friendly environment and Lew is always happy.