Donnell Bonaparte, Jr. – Baltimore 2019

Walking into the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Communication on his first day as an Urban Alliance intern, Donnell Bonaparte, Jr. was nervous – really nervous. “I thought I was going to be messing up in the beginning, a lot of failures and stuff like that. I didn’t really feel too confident in myself,” he remembers.

But at Urban Alliance, Donnell found a group of like-minded peers who pushed him to keep going. “We motivated one another a lot,” Donnell said. “I know that everyone has a certain goal, to just succeed and do something that they love. I feel happy around different people like that. I’ve grown a lot of close relationships with interns they are close to me and I am close to them now.”

As Donnell grew more confident and comfortable, he also found something he never expected: a new passion. Donnell had always been interested in drawing and design, but had never worked with the medium of film before. He soon discovered that this visual art appealed to him, and that he had a real talent for it. “I did not know I would like video editing as much as I do,” he said. “The specific job that I’ve done fits into my career interest perfectly, so I’ve got all the skills and the experience … They are molding me to be something that I never thought I would be.”

Now a freshman at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Donnell is excited to continue to hone his new videography skills and is glad that he stuck with Urban Alliance. “I’m most proud of finding something that I know that I want to do, I want to do for sure, of just finding a couple things that I’m good at. And I know that I can put them to work for my future,” he said. “I’m glad I found it at a young age like this, starting off college, and I can know exactly what I want to do.”