CAYLA is a youth leadership program through the City of Asheville that helps teenagers build leadership and give back to the community. We have 30 participants who are high school students who are leaders in the community. CAYLA is a year-long commitment with a 7.5-week internship with local businesses. I am one of the 30 CAYLA participants this year and am interning at the Chamber of Commerce.
During my first week interning at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, I have learned more about Asheville as a whole and more in depth about the business environment. When I first walked into the doors of the Chamber, I had this idea that the Chamber was a place where visitors come find directions or learn about the history of the city. The perception that I first possessed wasn’t even the halves of what the Chamber is all about. The work environment is very warm and welcoming, reminding me of Asheville in a building. My first week consisted of ribbon cuttings, business calls, business before hours, as well as the benefits of becoming a member of the Chamber. Also, the Chamber of Commerce had their annual meeting, that I was excited to be a part of. I was very much fortunate to be in the presence of “Asheville’s Finest Business People.” I look forward to learning more about the Chamber, and experiencing the different roles of each department. I am also eager to become more familiar with small businesses that help form the city of Asheville. The journey begins here.
– Asia Porter (CAYLA Intern)