Fifteen years after she started coming to Horton’s Kids programs, Alayjah began her first internship at twenty years old. “Horton’s Kids has always been there to support me. I felt prepared about what to expect and there are things I can take from this experience and use elsewhere.”

During her internship at Sanofi’s government affairs office, Alayjah gained experience writing documents, researching, assisting with administrative tasks, and developing and delivering presentations. She knew these skills would be important in her pursuit of a career as a diagnostic radiologist.

Joh’nita Johnson, Senior Manager of College & Career Readiness here at Horton’s Kids, developed and managed the summer internship program through which Alayjah’s internship was arranged. “They begin to develop the soft skills needed for success in the workplace,” Joh’nita said, “including showing up on time, managing task loads, and learning to advocate for themselves.” 

Now in her junior year at Virginia Commonwealth University, Alayjah is looking into medical schools and preparing to take the MCAT. In the meantime, she plans to complete another internship, stating about her time at Sanofi, “it was exactly the kind of experience I thought it would be. It was well put together and now I’m thinking about how my next internship will help me gain new skills to grow in the future.”

Brad Sickels
Director of Communications & Events

Brad manages Horton’s Kids’ external communications channels and oversees the organization’s public and media relations. He also directs the planning and execution of Horton’s Kids donor stewardship & cultivation events including the organization’s flagship fundraisers Home Runs for Horton’s Kids and Give Thanks & Give Back. Brad brings over 15 years of event production, strategic communications, and graphic design experience to Horton’s Kids.

Brad has worked for a variety of DC-based nonprofits including The Human Rights Campaign, The American Psychological Association, and The National Student Leadership Conference. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from SUNY Geneseo.