Two Upper School Students Intern for Dallas Mayor

Mayer Sidikaro

Over the summer, two Upper School students were interns for Greenhill Alum Mayor Eric Johnson.

Junior Karthik Gehani and senior Valerie Xu applied for their positions in March of 2022 and began work in May. Gehani applied through an organization called Dallas Works, which sets up opportunities for youths to get jobs working for the city of Dallas while Xu applied through a contact, she met volunteering in the mayor’s office. The positions are open to high school and college-level students.

Gehani discontinued his internship when the school year started, but Xu still works 5 hours a week.

“Wednesdays [are] usually busiest because the City Council is in session,” Xu said. “I work on proclamations and ceremonial writings, which means that I write special recognitions and ’I’ve done a little speech-writing for Mayor Johnson.”

The intensity of the work environment varies from day to day.

“It’s a government office, so it’s good to have a certain level of prestige and intensity, but it’s a small office and everyone is really close,” Xu said.

Gehani’s days looked completely different. He had a lot of flexibility with his hours and could either come from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or from 12 p.m. to5 p.m.

“I was pretty much just on phone calls, and I feel all the phone calls help people out,” Gehani said. “’They’d be calling [about] all types of stuff.”

Both students said that their experiences in this internship helped them build real-world experience and learn a lot about local government.

“I really appreciate the opportunity the ’mayor’s office gave me because you really get that hands-on aspect and real role,” Xu said.