NYCEDC's blog

Meet Fayola Fair, NYCEDC's Summer PENCIL Fellow


By Richard Solomon, Associate Creative Director at NYCEDC

Yes, our summer intern, Fayola Fair, is a PENCIL.

And she's about to be a senior at Brooklyn Latin School. Fayola worked with NYCEDC this summer as a fellow through PENCIL, an organization that places outstanding high school students at various New York City businesses to prepare them for life in the workplace.

The PENCIL fellowship program's admission process is extensive. First, there is a PENCIL application, then the call for an interview. For Fayola, part of this was a mock interview for a fictional position at American Airlines. Once accepted into the program, Fayola took part in a two-day orientation that dealt with “workplace decorum and issues” that included dressing, networking, framing questions, listening, researching, prioritizing, and participating in discussions and brainstorming sessions.

When Fayola first learned that she would be interviewing at NYCEDC, she was surprised. She remembers thinking, “I’m not sure what they do and have no interest in economics.” Her interests lay in non-profit and community work. But the more research she did about NYCEDC, the more she learned about our programs and how they help to improve the City and the lives of the people who live and work here.

Fayola interviewed with Matthew Weinberg and Kat Lau from our Center for Economic Transformation's Emerging Media and Tech desk. Upon meeting them, her first reaction was a sigh of relief.

fayola cet

"Wow these guys are pretty young and pretty cool—this has potential to be a good summer!”

- Fayola Fair, NYCEDC PENCIL Fellow

Fayola landed the internship and we're happy to say that it shaped up to be a great summer.

Fayola spent the summer working diligently on projects for the Tech team, including NYC Tech Talent Draft and NYC BigApps. At the end of her two months, Fayola found that the meetings and people weren’t all that daunting. Instead, they were inclusive and open. She felt that she had a voice. She also has a better idea of what she calls the “behind the scenes stuff” that NYCEDC does to make the City a better place.

At PENCIL's closing reception, Fayola, pictured above, was awarded a $1500 scholarship for creating a newsletter that outlines the effects of New York City's growth as a technology center. Her two proud NYCEDC mentors, Matt Weinberg, pictured left, and Kat Lau, pictured right, came to cheer her on as she received the award.

For now, it’s back to her senior year and college applications. Fayola’s first choice is Brandeis University and she already knows that her majors will be sociology and public policy with minors in African American studies and political science. We know she will do quite well– Fayola has proven herself to be pretty sharp. After all, she is a PENCIL.



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