Mayoral intern contestants tackle Task 2
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 12:02 a.m.
Brandon Davis hung a fake gold medal from his neck before telling the story of Fes, a once-lazy boy who wanted to compete in the Olympics.
Davis, a Santa Fe Community College freshman and competitor in Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan's The Intern 2 Project, invented Fes to teach children at O2B Kids' Parents Night Out Saturday about the importance of physical fitness, specifically flexibility, endurance and strength.
This was the second task out of seven in which eight SFCC students compete for a paid internship under the mayor or - the winner chooses - any governmental department.
"It's exciting for the city," Hanrahan said. "We have these young people with incredible skills bringing new energy and ideas. I look forward to seeing those continued benefits."
The setup is similar to that of NBC's "The Apprentice." Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., the students meet at City Hall. The mayor, like Donald Trump, announces the winning team from that week, and the losing team joins her in the conference room to find out who will be kicked off.
The theme is "building kids' futures, one task at a time," and the tasks are sponsored by several organizations including the March of Dimes and United Way.
The first week, the teams met at Westside Park, where they performed skits to teach children about police and fire safety.
They arranged for police cars and fire trucks to be available for the children to play in.
Intern 2 competitor Gavin Rollins led the Super Safety Squad in which his team for the task - Davis, Alexis Lloyd and Sissy Oliver - helped the children become superheroes, complete with capes, by pledging to be safe when dealing with fire.
Rollins, 19, earned an immunity pass for Saturday's task for his performance in Task No. 1.
"Our team came together so quickly on such a big task," he said. "It was like group dynamics on steroids."
Hanrahan was unable to attend the first task, so she didn't eliminate anyone.
Nevertheless, Task 2 began with one fewer contestant. Oliver withdrew from the competition due to an illness in the family. She is guaranteed a spot in next year's The Intern Project, said Krystal Wilson, intern coordinator and last year's runner-up.
"As a contestant last year, I know you don't see everything that goes on behind closed doors - there can be some animosity," Wilson said. "But I see team togetherness and the eagerness and willingness to make this successful in all of them."
Debra Turner, whose team - Cedrick Baker, Erica Reyes and Rumana Rabbani - lost the first task, said she thought her team did an outstanding job and felt responsible for their loss.
"It's a lot of work," said Turner, who has five children and seven grandchildren. "But if one child is going to hear what we say and use it, it's all worth it."
The next task will be walk-a-thon rallies at Gainesville High School, Eastside High School and Buchholz High School Saturday at noon. Both the tasks and the winning team announcements are open to the public.
To vote for the contestants, visit the project's Web site at http://sfccinternproject.com/.
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