Meet the 2016 EdAhead Interns!

Another summer, another round of EdAhead interns! These talented high schoolers from Santa Monica High are spending six weeks of their summer in the Dun & Bradstreet Malibu office. In their six weeks, they’ll get real-world experience in an office and the opportunity to dive into their business interests – marketing, technology, finance, legal, or a combination. They’ll also get to know one another better during intern bonding activities, like beach olympics, and will be mentored by college interns, as well as employees. When they’re not working, you can find them playing ping pong during breaks and taking walks on the Malibu pier. Get to know each 2016 EdAhead intern below!

Uma Nesis – Legal 

Uma is an active member of the Santa Monica High School Solar Alliance club and a strong leader in her temple’s youth program. She has a growing passion for history and believes that the best way to understand the present is to be knowledgeable about the past. When Uma isn’t hanging out with friends or taking care of her five siblings – yes, five – she constantly finds herself researching and reading articles about historical events. Recently, Uma got to fully explore her fascination with history during a trip exploring Israel with her temple. She is interested in business and law, as well as archeology. She hopes to attend Columbia University to continue her studies in history, and also attend law school.

What’s your favorite food?

“I absolutely love potatoes! I don’t care what form they’re in, I just love them.”

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

“I would revisit Israel; it’s my favorite place.”

What shows or movies do you enjoy watching?

“I enjoy re-watching old TV shows like Seinfeld, Psych, and Twin Peaks.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

“Definitely living in New York City. I could see myself either being a lawyer, archeologist or a history teacher. We’ll see.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“It’s a great opportunity to experience working in the real world, I love the Malibu environment, and I had heard great things about it. I am very interested in law and this has helped me learn about the field first hand.

Jamie Cohen – Marketing 


Jamie has a strong affinity for playing the saxophone. He’s an active member of the Santa Monica High School marching band and jazz band and is also very involved in the Model United Nations program. He was born and raised in LA, but he comes from a British family. Jamie loves to spend his free time relaxing with friends or watching House of Cards. He enjoys learning about science, especially chemistry. Jamie has always been interested in working in business and hopes to be a business major one day at his dream school: the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

What is your ideal weekend?

“Not having any school or band obligations and just being able to relax.”

Who’s your favorite celebrity?

“I love Sofia Vergara. She’s absolutely hilarious.”

What is your favorite food?

“Definitely pizza. It tastes amazing.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“In LA of course, and probably working in the business field.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“My friend from marching band, Eric, did the internship last year and loved it. I wanted to learn more about working in marketing and experience a real work environment.”

Denita Kiya – Finance


Before moving to LA, Denita lived in Paris for the first five years of her life. She is fluent in Farsi, English, and French, and is currently learning Spanish. Denita is the Founder and President of the Santa Monica High School Miss Representation club and Vice President of the Make a Wish club. She is also very involved in Teen Line. As president of the Miss Representation club, Denita started a movement to empower girls at her high school to feel comfortable in their skin by putting inspiring notes around campus. She loves studying math and science because she is a very logical thinker. Denita hopes to attend college on the east coast and study business.

What is your favorite food?

“I love the Persian food called zereshk polo. I’ve grown up with it and it is by far my favorite dish.”

What is your ideal weekend?

“Sleeping in until as late as possible. Then, visiting my favorite thrift store in Arcadia with friends and spending time with family of course.”

Who’s your role model and why?

“I know this sounds typical, but my mom. She’s an extremely strong and stable woman that has been there for me through everything.”

What do you do in your free time?

“I love watching Netflix – Orange is the New Black is my favorite show right now. I also enjoy being a Teen Line listener and spending time with friends.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“My friend Carlos, an intern last year, recommended that I apply. I felt that the finance position best suited me because I adapt well to new environments and am very detail-oriented. I am also interested in working in business in the future.”

Krista Blide – Technology

Krista is an avid volleyball player and has played left back for beach volleyball clubs for five years. When she’s not practicing with her team, Krista enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, surfing, skiing and rock climbing – she does it all! As an only child, Krista is very independent and takes pride in working on her own. She has a strong passion for learning about technology and biology because she believes they are subjects applicable to what she desires to study in the future. When she isn’t studying for her AP classes, Krista takes pleasure in reading historical fiction novels. She hopes to continue her volleyball career and education at the University of California – Berkeley, where she wants to study microbiology.

What’s your favorite food?

“I could eat chocolate lava cakes all day”

What is your ideal weekend?

“Spending time with my friends at a day party at the pool, then enjoying a nice hike in the Pacific Palisades.”

Who’s your role model and why?

“Malala because the cure for poverty is the empowerment of women.”

What shows do you enjoy watching?

“I love old cartoons. My favorites are Spongebob, Southpark, and Futurama.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“My math teacher recommended the opportunity to me. I wanted to work in a more informal environment than school and learn technology from adult professionals. I also wanted to learn more about tech because I believe it’s the key to the future and it’s very important to me.”

Nathan Wenger – Technology

Nathan recently moved to Santa Monica after living in Georgia for the past 10 years, but he sees California as his true home. In his free time, Nathan enjoys programing computers, reading novels, and spending time with friends. He was involved with the track and cross country teams at Santa Monica High School for two years and currently runs on his own. He is also involved in his school’s Enigmatic Mathematics club and is Vice President of the Progressive Economics club. Nathan loves playing the cello and recently performed with his fellow orchestra students in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. After high school, Nathan hopes to study computer science and pure mathematics at MIT or the California Institute of Technology.

What is your favorite subject in school?

“Easily Math. I love it.”

What is your favorite movie?

“Dr. Strange Love. It always makes me laugh because the same actor plays half the cast and the plot is hilarious.”

What is your favorite food?

“I love to eat mussels.”

Where have you lived in your life?

“Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and California.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“Previous interns recommended that I apply. I’m very passionate about technology and I possibly want a future in the field. This internship is a great opportunity to get real world experience.”

Sienna Brooks – Social Media

Having grown up in LA her whole life, Sienna is well aware of her surroundings and makes a concerted effort to involve herself in her community. She is President and Founder of the Safe Haven Club, where she volunteers at PATH homeless shelters. She is also Vice President of her Youth & Government Delegation, where she recently passed a bill to outlaw motorcycle lane splitting. Furthermore, Sienna is the Senior Class Secretary in Santa Monica High School’s ASB and a Hebrew school teacher at her temple. Her hobbies include running, biking, hiking, going to the beach, and traveling. Sienna hopes to study communications and journalism in college.

What’s your favorite food?

“Anything spicy. I put hot sauce on everything I eat!”

What is your favorite TV show?

“I just finished binge watching the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s seriously the best show ever.”

 Who is your role model?

“My mom. She’s the most hardworking caring woman I know and I aspire to be an amazing mother like her.”

Why did you decide to apply to intern for Dun & Bradstreet? What interested you?

“I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to experience working in the real business world. I love working with social media and writing- what better way to learn than from professionals?”

LAUSD Wins At CyberPatriot National Finals

On March 7, 2016, Dun & Bradstreet presented a $90,000 grant to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in support of the Beyond the Bell (BTB) Cyber Defense Education program. The check presentation kicked off a competition between three of the top scoring local schools.

After rising to the top of a field of 3,379 teams from schools nationwide through four rounds of virtual competition, two teams from LAUSD advanced to the finals of CyberPatriot: The National Youth Cyber Security Competition, including Franklin High School, which has made it to the finals five times. For the first time ever, an LAUSD middle school team advanced to the finals as well.

Now that the competitions are over, it’s time to celebrate the winners! The Robert F. Kennedy middle school team, who is the only two-person team to ever make it to nationals and the first all girl team from LAUSD, won third place! Congratulations to all the teams on their hard work!

Photo Credit: LAUSD



Dudley High School’s ATV Club Wins Big at the Shell Eco-Marathon!

Earlier this year Dun & Bradstreet donated $16,685 to Dudley High School’s “Doers, Thinkers and Innovators” fund, of which the school allotted $10,000 to help cover the costs of its All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) team traveling to compete in the Shell Eco-Marathon competition in Detroit, MI.

The competition took place in mid-April and the students have returned victorious! The team placed first and third with its two handmade Urban Concept vehicles which were made of recycled parts and ran on alternative fuel. The team also took home the distinguished Spirit Award, which recognizes one team’s efforts to assist another team in the competition. Sounds like these Dudley High School students know a thing or two about good sportsmanship!

Congrats to the ATV team on a job well done!

Photo Credit: Ivan Saul Cutler, MakingNewz


EdAhead Donates to Tempe Elementary School District’s STEM/Robotics Club

For the second consecutive year, Dun & Bradstreet’s EdAhead® initiative presented a $2,500 donation to Tempe Elementary School District’s STEM/Robotics club. This STEM/Robotics club is a unique after-school program, where approximately forty 8th grade students compete to build and program robots. The club’s goals are to challenge students to solve real world problems, foster creativity, and enhance teamwork.

In total, EdAhead has given $6,560 since 2015 for the growth and development of this program. The donation is the matched amount of contributions Dun & Bradstreet’s Tempe employees made to their 529 EdAhead accounts. The donation will be used to buy and maintain robotics equipment and replace consumable material for the program. This year, the donation will also help the students prepare for their FIRST LEGO League Challenge.

Photo Credit: Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography, Flickr




EdAhead Donates $16,685 to Dudley High School’s “Doers, Thinkers, and Innovators Fund”

On Saturday, February 13, 2016, Dun & Bradstreet’s EdAhead initiative presented Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina a check for $16,685, which will go toward the “Doers, Thinkers, and Innovators Fund” at the school. The fund was created by a 2013 EdAhead donation from Dun & Bradstreet to the school foundation. A portion of the donation will be funding Dudley High School’s ATV club, an after-school program where students work together to build solar energy cars using recycled materials. The Dudley High School ATV team will be competing at the Eco Shell Marathon competition in Detroit, MI in April, and the $10,000 EdAhead grant will help pay for their travel expenses. The students plan to display EdAhead decals on their competing cars.

Read more about the ATV program and the hard work the students put in to create their cars here.

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U.S. News and World Report Covers EdAhead 529 Match

In an article about how parents can better save money for college expenses, U.S. News and World Report interviewed Amber Colley, Director of Sales Partnerships at Dun & Bradstreet, and Dun & Bradstreet Vice Chairman, Jeff Stibel, about how the company’s pioneering work in the field of education has helped parents and students alike.

Colley, an employee in Dun & Bradstreet’s Greensboro, North Carolina office, has been able to save nearly $20,000 for her children’s college expenses due in part to the EdAhead® match of her yearly 529 contribution.

The EdAhead education savings program is also the first education savings plan with a multiple match. Employee contributions are matched by company dollars while activating a donation to local public schools. 

College savings benefits are gaining traction with employers around the country, and some states are even implementing tax benefits to support companies who choose to help parents save for the cost of education.

In an interview for the article, Vice Chairman Jeff Stibel noted that the EdAhead program is “one of the things that puts people over the top to work here, and it is one of the things that people say they will regret if they leave.”

About EdAhead

EdAhead® is a revolutionary program designed to stress the importance of education for the future of America’s business success. By uniting employees and employers in contributing to students’ preparation for college, helping fund college savings, and improving local schools, EdAhead is an investment in student’s futures for personal success, community well being, and global prosperity.

The EdAhead program is a welcome bridge between saving today for education tomorrow, and it’s not just for parents. Any employee can be a steward of a child’s educational opportunity. We encourage any and every company to join our commitment to the importance of education to a shared future of leadership and strength.

The links in this article may take you to third party websites not governed by the Dun & Bradstreet privacy policy. Dun & Bradstreet is not responsible for products, services, or content located on third party websites.



Over $300,000 Donated to School Districts Around the Country in 2015

In just 2015 alone, Dun & Bradstreet‘s EdAhead initiative donated over $300,000 to various schools across the country. Here’s a break down of each school the company supported by donating to their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs.

– Tempe, Arizona: $4,100
– Short Hills, New Jersey: $5,650
– Greensboro, North Carolina: $19,271
– Tucson, Arizona: $20,595
– Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: $32,355
– Los Angeles, California: $100,000
– Santa Monica & Malibu, California: $100,000 + $25,800 intern scholarships

To see what some of the funding has been used for, check out a recap of two Malibu team members’ tour of some of the local schools.



EdAhead Summer 2015 Interns Finish Strong

Dun & Bradstreet’s unique program which brings a select number of high school students through a six week internship in our Malibu office has come to a close. Over the six week program, the interns get hands on experience within the business area of their choice and are mentored through the journey by full time employees. Check out this video which covers their stories from day one all the way through the end!

At the EdAhead Intern Graduation Ceremony,  Dun and Bradstreet Vice Chairman Jeff Stibel noted that the whole office benefits from the high school interns. Not only do they complete meaningful projects, but they also bring fresh enthusiasm to the office. Their energy is contagious and the whole office is reminded to live our “work hard, play hard” philosophy. We wish all our interns the best as they prepare to go back to school for their senior year, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!

You can learn more about how Dun & Bradstreet Strives to Empower Today’s Youth Through Education for a Brighter Tomorrow here.

Dun & Bradstreet Strives to Empower Today’s Youth Through Education For a Brighter Tomorrow

What if you were tasked to build a mechanical device that could move an object in two dimensions – both vertically and horizontally? Would you know where to begin?

With the support of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) based programs, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) knew that their K-8th grade students would be up for the challenge. The STEM Program, which is funded in part through Dun & Bradstreet EdAhead donations, allows groups of young students the opportunity to work on an array of complex projects, with some pretty incredible results. Dorothy Kiniti and Stephen Shirk from Dun & Bradstreet were given the opportunity to visit a few of the schools to see just what the students were up to and check out some of these complex projects. Read on to hear more about how EdAhead funding is being put to use in the Santa Monica-Malibu area:

From left to right; Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, Santa Monica-Malibu Education Fund), Gretchen McLaughlin (English Language Arts, SMMUSD), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager, Dun & Bradstreet), Marianna O’Brien (Science, SMMUSD), Dr. Suzanne Webb (Principal, SMMUSD)

Lincoln Middle School

At Lincoln Middle School, students were given six weeks to create a formal experiment proposal that included an abstract, rationale, experimental design, experimental procedures, and a citation page.

Throughout the course of the program, students utilized the process of discovery as a teaching tool, learning from their mistakes as well as their successes. They also developed advanced communication skills to help explain their scientific ideas to the experiment selection committees. To facilitate the development of those skills, the school created a core program that partners science and english lessons.

Students at Lincoln Middle School

At the end of six weeks, over 80 experiment proposals were submitted to the Review Committee, which consisted of local community members. The winning proposal, entitled the “Paper Chromatography Experiment,” was created to help determine whether chromatography could be performed in microgravity, and discover how the process may differ from when it is performed on earth. The experiment was then sent to the International Space Station on June 19th, 2015, from the Kennedy Space Center.

The winning team of 8th grade students included Samuel Buckley-Bonanno, Adam Chamas, Charlie Gooding and Shrayes Raman.

John Muir Elementary

The Exploratory collaborated with John Muir Elementary on a K-5 curriculum designed to engage learning experiences that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) subjects. The program gives an early start at exposing young students to STEM-related programs and gives them an opportunity to use their curiosity and intelligence to compete in problem solving tasks. Thanks to their partnership with The Exploratory, an eight-week design lab helped prepare children for challenges through its “Tinker.Make.Innovate” philosophy.

The students at John Muir were tasked with exploring simple machines and gear systems to create a self-operating machine that could share a story about a person that made a difference in history. The program would otherwise not be possible without the generous donations of families, communities and businesses within the community.

From left to right; Susie Parks (Parent), Kristina London (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Tina Pezzotta (PlanetBravo), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager), Karen Verham (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), (Lori Rose (4th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, SMMEF), Ann Conkle (Communications and Events Manager, SMMEF), Jordan Norman (PlanetBravo) Front Row: Amanda Park (Student)

Point Dume Marine Science School and Webster Elementary

PlanetBravo partnered with Point Dume and Webster Elementary to deliver a formal technology curriculum that integrated common core standards for Math and Language Arts in their computer labs. The PlanetBravo instructors worked with the students on a weekly basis covering relevant computer topics.

Students have benefited from PlanetBravo in many ways, including the expansion of their digital knowledge through lessons in technology and problem solving. Every year, PlanetBravo helps to enhance children’s futures by teaching them to learn and build something new. By the time the students are in middle school, they are already well versed in Google Apps, are able to create documents and spreadsheets, and are comfortable understanding web etiquette, with the invaluable knowledge that their digital footprint stays with them forever.

These school programs were funded thanks to the contributions made by the EdAhead initiative. The $100,000 grant made to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) by Dun & Bradstreet was allocated to comprehensive programs such as this,designed to improve student achievement and success from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade.

About EdAhead

EdAhead® is a revolutionary program designed to stress the importance of education for the future of America’s business success. By uniting employees and employers in contributing to students’ preparation for college, helping fund college savings, and improving local schools, EdAhead is an investment in student’s futures for personal success, community well being, and global prosperity.

The EdAhead program is a welcome bridge between saving today for education tomorrow, and it’s not just for parents. Any employee can be a steward of a child’s educational opportunity. We encourage any and every company to join our commitment to the importance of education to a shared future of leadership and strength.

For more about Dun & Bradstreet, visit:


2014 EdAhead Intern Nikan Namiri First to Receive Dun & Bradstreet Scholarship

In the summer of 2014, Nikan Namiri interned with Dun & Bradstreet as an EdAhead intern, and now, after being honored as salutatorian in Santa Monica High School’s Class of 2015, he has been accepted to UCLA, where he will pursue his studies in bioengineering. The Executive Director of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation presented Namiri with a check to use toward his studies, a gift from Dun & Bradstreet for his time there as an intern. Namiri is the first 2014 intern to accept his college admissions offer and Dun & Bradstreet wishes him the best in his future endeavors!

To learn more about Namiri and his high school accomplishments (like founding a non-profit), read this article from the Santa Monica Daily Press.