On November 8th, the Aurora Foundation hosted its first official “Boots to Books to Banks” internship graduation for Mr. Giovanni Fernandez. Gio, a former Marine, interned at John Marshall Bank- needing a financial internship to graduate from Marymount University in December with Bachelors in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance. Participating in the internship program and completing the degree requirements was especially important to Gio as he is not only a veteran, but is the first person in his family to attain a college degree. Gio gave a short presentation outlining both the things he learned while interning with John Marshall Bank, and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People curriculum learned through a mentorship with SNVC veteran-employee, Reginald Williams.
The internship was generously paid for by a grant given to Aurora by Battelle, a charitable trust dedicated to scientific, educational, technology and community endeavors and investments. The grant sponsor, Bobby Chin, a veteran and long-time Battelle employee, sought out an opportunity to support veterans returning to school after service and looking to continue their education. Identifying Aurora as an ideal partner, Mr. Chin worked with Battelle’s corporate giving program to apply for a grant to help support the internship program. Upon receiving the grant, Aurora quickly looked to John Marshall Bank to become a corporate sponsor for Gio and future “Boots to Books to Banks” interns. Having close ties to veterans and veterans’ issues, the company eagerly jumped at the opportunity to support America’s war-time heroes and created an internship position specifically tailored to Gio’s career interests and goals.
Celebrating with Gio were those who helped to make the internship possible, including Mr. Mark Moore, Gio’s sponsor at John Marshall Bank; Mr. Bobby Chin, Battelle representative who donated the money for Gio’s internship; Mr. Reggie Williams, Gio’s mentor throughout the entire internship; Mr. Tom DeWitt, President of Aurora; and Aurora staff members Beth Miller-Herholtz, Ellen Baumgardner, and Kiara Girkins.