James Madison High
International Business Internship Program
Our Life-Changing Project
Class of 2021
My name is Aidan Shannon, and I am a sophomore at James Madison High School. Multiple rigorous Advanced Placement and honors courses have left me with limited time for extracurricular activities. Despite this, I still make time for activities I love, such as sports, guitar, volunteer work and spending time with family and friends.
Due to my busy schedule, my time reserved for extracurriculars is invaluable. One of my passions is representing James Madison’s Varsity Debate Team, where I have placed third in a WACFL circuit qualifying tournament. As a result of my dedication, I have amassed enough points to receive Merit and Honor status in the National Speech and Debate Honor Society. I also represent my town, by playing on the travel soccer team, where we have competed in and won multiple invitationals in the past few years, as well as playing recreational basketball for five years. As mentioned prior, I love volunteer work, especially helping other people in need. It is for this reason why I am a part of the Math Honor Society, where I tutor students who need help with math. Additionally, I have worked with an organization called Top Soccer for three years now, where I help teach children with special needs the fundamentals of soccer, among other valuable life skills, such as teamwork, communication, and kindness. Further, I work as a student teacher at my local Sunday school, where I help children understand who they are and how to lead a meaningful life.
Actively volunteering is what makes a community strong and special. You always see news stories of “local teens make a difference,” but you never think it could ever be you. The International Business Internship program has given me that opportunity. An opportunity where I can actually make a difference in someone’s life, family, and community, on the other side of the globe! IBIP has taught me that despite this distance, despite a language barrier, if enough people collaborate with one another, they can leave a lasting positive impact on a community.
Class of 2021
My name is Sid Thakker, and I am a sophomore at James Madison High School. I love to challenge myself by taking rigorous honors and AP courses offered at my school and putting forth all of my effort in every class. When I am not challenging myself at school, you can see me playing sports, reading, or spending time with friends. Throughout my high school journey, I have also developed a passion for community service.
Keeping a healthy balance between school and outside activities is very important to me. I participate and lead in many school-sponsored clubs such as Model UN, FBLA, and Biology/Chemistry joint club. Being part of the leadership team for Model UN has allowed me to teach new members of essential aspects such as public speaking, role-playing, and formal writing. These clubs have allowed me to challenge myself and compete against top schools in our area. Aside from these clubs, I am also apart of several honor societies such as Math Honor society where I provide myself to tutor kids who need help. During my summer I had the opportunity to work at Georgetown University where I had the chance to conduct my independent research project studying the role of the alpha 5 receptor on Nicotine Addiction. Outside of academics, I like to spend time playing Tennis where I play for my school's Varsity team. Also, I love to indulge myself in community service, where I have accumulated 200 plus hours working in various places such as my local temple and the Embry Rucker Shelter.
When you look at the reasons why volunteering is important, it’s not only about the impacts we can make on the lives of those less fortunate but the role it can play in making us more tolerant individuals and giving towards the global community. Each of us should be willing to offer our own time and expect nothing in return, and IBIP allows for us to have that opportunity. We all work together to help and raise money to create the businesses of tomorrow.
Class of 2021
My name is Rayan Yu and I am currently a sophomore at James Madison High School. High school has proven to be an amazing experience for me so far, with countless opportunities for growth and discovery. With the honors and AP course workload however, time outside of school is valuable and cannot be wasted. When I have free time, I can be found doing activities I love: participating in clubs and volunteer work, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends.
With the obvious time constraints of high school, extracurriculars are still the major focus for me. My passion for STEM has led me to create and found the Machine Learning Club at Madison High School, where my captains and I give lectures, sponsor school competitions, and conduct chapter projects. I participate in several other Madison clubs, such as the Model UN team, FBLA, DECA, and Math Honor Society. Another major activity for me is competing on the Madison Varsity debate team under the WACFL circuit of NSDA (National Speech and Debate Association). Throughout my tournaments, I have accumulated enough points to receive the Merit, Honor, and Excellence status in the NSDA Honor Society. I compete in several tournaments every year, among which I have placed first place to third place multiple times, with one being the regional MetroFinals qualifier tournament. These efforts have lead to being ranked in the Top 50 for Public Forum Debate in Virginia. Academic involvements aside, I avidly play sports such as basketball, for which I play on the Madison JV team.
However, I believe that the most meaningful involvement is not all these clubs, sports, or even your education. It is your service to your community, your heritage, and all people in need. This previous summer, I traveled abroad for around a month, and organized lessons and taught local underprivileged students from Pingjiang County (Hunan, China) basic English. Likewise, IBIP has presented itself as another international opportunity that I am thrilled to have in order help people and businesses thrive across the globe. Helping others is always an amazing experience, and to know that through IBIP our team's actions can directly and instantly benefit someone will absolutely motivate me and my team to do our very best to aid our partners to success!
Class of 2021
My name is Jefferson Johnson, and I am a sophomore at James Madison High School, where I am enrolled in multiple honors and Advanced Placement courses. When I am not spending my time furthering my education, I involve myself with other extracurriculars and interests outside of school.
For the past few years, I’ve developed an intense interest in physics, and the idea of advanced brain-computer interfaces. These past two summers, I have interned at a neurotech company in Los Angeles. While there, I worked with lasers, magnetics, electrical stimulation, physics analysis, and the necessary programming and building of mechanics and such. I have also developed an interest in entrepreneurship and business management in these specific areas, and am looking forward to further exploring these ideas. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano, participating in cross country and soccer, and will achieve my Eagle rank in Scouts in the coming year. I am also heavily involved in my church and service work and go to an early-morning religious class regularly.
I look forward to applying and improving my problem-solving skills with IBIP, learning from others, finding solutions to real-world problems, and further developing my interests and skills in business management and science.
Class of 2021
My name is Kendall Castellaw, and I am a sophomore at James Madison High School, where I have challenged myself with the enrollment of many Honors and Advanced Placements courses. When I am not applying myself to my studies and the furthering of my education, I have found a passion in volunteer work in my community and in participating in many extracurriculars that have furthered me as a person.
For the past two years I have been a member of DECA, and competed at the district and state level. At the state level I won first place in my category, and now currently serve as a DECA officer and a member of the DECA leadership team where I am able to serve as a mentor to newer DECA members and organize club matters. I am also passionate about my role in the community and how I can better the lives of others around me. I am a weekly volunteer at a local Senior Living center where I aid residents with their medical and social needs, as well as assisting with the administrative responsibilities of the Senior center. Alongside this, I am also apart of a mentorship program where I am provided the opportunity to mentor and help disabled elementary school children with their academic and social disadvantages. I am also very active in my church youth group where I serve as class president over my age group, and collaborate with church leaders on church run activities. As well as this, I attend a daily early morning church institute class before I go to school. In my freetime I also enjoy playing the piano and playing on recreational soccer and basketball teams.
The International Business Internship Program provides me with the opportunity to now not only help people in my community but people across the world. I’m excited for the opportunities that IBIP will provide for my team members and I, and for the chance we have to come up with real-world solutions that will benefit the lives of others and especially our business partners. I look forward to the business management, global awareness and team collaboration skills that I will gain while serving as a member of IBIP.
Class of 2021
My name is Lacey Rousseau and I am a sophomore at James Madison High school. This year I am enrolled in multiple honors and AP courses. I love to challenge myself and constantly learn more and improve. Even though school is a top priority for me, I also love to spend my free time with my friends, play sports, and travel. I have been to 22 countries, and I love learning about their history and culture. IBIP gives me the chance to learn even more.
At Madison High School, I am a returning member to both the Varsity Field Hockey and Varsity Soccer teams. This past year I was named captain of the Field Hockey team, and I was placed as a first team all conference and all region player in the High School league. Last spring our Varsity soccer team won the district and regional tournaments, and continued on placing second in the state. I am also a member of DECA, a co-curricular club where students compete in marketing competitions. When I am not participating in these activities I like to spend my time volunteering. I am a member of the Junior Volunteer League, and I volunteer at multiple non-profits in the community. I frequently volunteer at Food for Others, the Lamb Center, and Women Giving Back. I also coach youth sports teams, and read with elementary school ESOL students.
Being part of the International Business Internship Program allows me to learn more about business management as well as gain real world experience. I am also able to help better the world outside my community by assisting our partner as well as the fundraising our team is doing for Global Giving. I believe I will be able to apply my previous knowledge of business and marketing to help our team be successful, and I can’t wait to learn more about business and global awareness.
Our Business Partner: Computer Repair
Business Owner: Abdullahi Umar
Business Location: Bauchi, Bauchi State, Nigeria
Story of the Business
Abdullahi struggled significantly in running his own business before he partnered with Leadership Initiatives and the International Business Internship Program (IBIP). However, Abdullahi now attributes his rapid growth and success to the hard work of his partner IBIP students and the support from Leadership Initiatives. He is currently working with IBIP teams to learn new detection methods of processor failures, creating OS recovery partitions, uncovering new hardware drivers, improving financial management, and expanding his advertising in the region.
About the Owner: Abdullahi Umar
Abdullahi studied health education at the University of Maiduguri when he discovered a new passion while taking a health technology course: computers. After graduating, Abdullahi found an apprenticeship at a local computer business center to pay off his university fees. His passion for computers grew, and he began to teach himself computer repair skills outside of his apprenticeship. Abdullahi decided to take his dream one step further by opening up his own computer repair business in Bauchi, Nigeria.
Despite a rough beginning, Abdullahi now owns his own storefront and employs two members of his local community. He strives to provide the most affordable and reliable computer repair and business center in Bauchi, helping to expand the technology infrastructure in the underdeveloped region. He also supports his wife and two children through the profits of his business. Abdullahi and his business currently directly benefit 10 people in his wider community.