Downtown Interns

Downtown Washington Inc. is saying goodbye to a business intern as it welcomes another studying historic preservation.

Angela Smith, an East Central College student, will complete her internship in July while Ellie Hight, a Southeast Missouri State University student, just began an internship June 9. She will be with Downtown Washington through Aug. 1.

Hight, originally from Bakersville, Calif., said she always knew she wanted to study historic preservation.

SEMO offered not only a developed historic preservation program, but a soccer program as well. She will be a senior this fall.

This is Hight’s first internship and she’s excited to be in Washington.

“I love it. I feel very at home here. Everyone has been very friendly and very welcoming,” she said. “It’s a really warm environment around downtown.”

Downtown Washington Inc. has worked with interns from SEMO several times, as it’s Bridgette Kelch, Downtown Washington executive director’s alma mater. Hight is under the direction of Kelch.

“She really has put me out of my comfort zone and has put me in situations that are real, making me feel like I will be prepared when the time comes for me to get a job,” Hight said.

Although she just completed her first week, Hight has started several projects, including a social media project for the downtown area and a feasibility study on the apartments above Joe’s Bakery and Delicatessen.

“In comparison to the West Coast, (the buildings in Downtown Washington) are, by far, so much more beautiful. There’s a really rich history here,” she said, adding that the West Coast is more about urbanization than preservation.

After graduation, Hight said she hopes to work with the Main Street program, an effort to revitalize downtowns and “preserve their cultural identity and build a sense of place for people,” as well as to help bring in new businesses for economic stimulation.

Hight, 21, is the daughter of Berk and Cindy Hight.

Angela Smith

As a business major, Smith said she likes to “dip her toes” in all aspects of business.

During her internship, Smith managed several social media pages, including one for the Washington Lions Club and the city’s 175th anniversary. She also has interned for the vice president of external affairs at East Central College and in the art department at ECC.

Smith said she graduated in May with an associate’s degree in business technology. She plans to continue her education, taking classes at ECC.

Eventually, she looks forward to managing a small business.

“It’s been a good experience,” Smith said of her time with Downtown Washington Inc. “Everybody here is very nice to work with.”