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Archana Ponnada

Marriotts Ridge High School

Class of 2024

Archana Ponnada is a rising junior at Marriotts Ridge High School. Archana is a principal's honor roll student taking Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Courses.

Archana enjoys reading and baking in her free time. She also loves listening to music and going on walks. Archana runs her own business, Archie's Cupcakes in which she sells cupcakes, cakes, and other pastries. Archana donates 25% of her company's revenue to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. At school, she is president of Millionaire's Club, co-president of her school's chapter of National Breast Cancer Coalition, and historian of Class Council. She is also an active member of FBLA and Model UN, having won awards in both clubs.

Archana is excited to participate in International Business and Development Internship this school year. She has always had a passion for business and finance which she exhibits through her extracurriculars. She wants to take the skills she acquires through this internship and apply them to the future as she plans to be an entrepreneur herself one day.


Jasmine Li

Poolsville High School

Class of 2024

Jasmine Li is a rising junior at Poolesville High School and is studying in the Global Ecology Science Program there. Jasmine is a notable student who is taking both honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Jasmine plays flute and likes to read in her spare time. She is in her school's Science Olympiad team and is accomplished in many regional and state tournaments. She also does math tutoring in her spare time, and enjoys studying math and science.

Jasmine is excited to be participating in the International Business and Development Program, and is hoping to learn many new skills to help in her future endeavors.


Erica Qin

Marriotts Ridge High School

Class of 2024

Erica Qin is a rising junior at Marriotts Ridge High School. She has a younger sister and a dog, and is enrolled in various Advanced Placement and GT courses at school.

Erica plays volleyball and is a member of the Howard County GT Orchestra. At school, she is a member of Model UN, Future Business Leaders of America, and Speech and Debate. In her free time, she enjoys biking and playing with her dog.

Erica is excited to be attending the 2022-23 International Business & Development Internship. She has always had an interest in business and wishes to learn more about the subject. In the future, she hopes to continue this path and make an impact on her community.


Allie Liu

Centennial High School

Class of 2024

Allie Liu is a junior at Centennial High School.

Allie enjoys playing the violin and public speaking activities. In school, she is involved with student government, mock trial, debate, and model UN. She also loves hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Allie is super excited to be an intern with the Business and Development program. She hopes to learn more about business and econ, and hopes to pursue a business degree in the future.


Our Business Partner

Justina Yohanna

Business Statistics

Justina Yohanna is a female entrepreneur from Bauchi State Nigeria. She is married and has two kids. Justina's family is her first priority and ensures to put them before all else.

Mrs. Yohanna is very religious and goes to Church every Sunday. She received training on how to run a salon in Columbia State Nigeria, and she has been running her own business for the past three years.

Justina Yohanna

About Justina

Mrs. Yohanna runs a hair salon business in Bauchi State, Nigeria. She receives anywhere from 10-15 customers in a week and specializes in hairstyles on African hair.

Mrs. Yohanna is a proud beauty salonist in the Bauchi community. She takes pride in being able to impact the lives of women in Bauchi by instilling a sense of confidence within them through her hair styling. Her clients range in age from 15-39.

Mrs. Yohanna puts quality above all else, ensuring that she only provides the best for her clients.

Justina Yohanna

Community Impact

Through Mrs. Yohanna's entrepreneurial ventures, she has been able to bring in a good amount of income for her family. Justina is able to stand out in the Bauchi community because she specializes in Hanu Biyu hairstyles. Hanu Biyu hairstyles are a difficult service to get at other hair salons due to how meticulous and difficult they can be to do.

As Mrs. Yohanna continues to grow her business, she would like to employ young women that can be trained to perform the same hair services that she specializes in. She would like to hire and train young girls ages 18-19 who are willing to learn her ways of braiding Nigerian hair.

She hopes to expand further into the beauty business in the future by offering nail, lash, etc. services as well.

Mrs. Yohanna hopes to be a prominent pillar in the Bauchi State, Nigeria community as she continues to grow her business.

Justina Yohanna

Our Partnership

Mrs. Yohanna is very eager to be working with the Leadership Initiatives International Internship Program and Team BD22021.

Due to recently giving birth to a child, Mrs. Yohanna has not been able to allocate as much time as she would like to improve her business. Our goal is to work closely with her and take care of the management aspects in order to lift some weight off her shoulders.

Mrs. Yohanna hopes to empower females of all ages in her community as expands her salon business.

Our Approach


Financially literate entrepreneurs make growth-oriented financial and economic decisions for their savings, borrowing, and investments. Our team is working with Isiyaka Sa’ad to create an effective financial tracking system for his business finances, receipts, and daily costs.


Our team identified target markets and key demographics to create a customer acquisition plan. We are working with Isiyaka Sa’ad to redesign his brand and create effective marketing campaigns.


Steady growth is a critical component of creating self-sustaining communities. Our team is working to identify key areas of opportunity for Isiyaka Sa’ad and design solutions with grant money to improve his business to foster growth.

Our Fundraising



$750 GOAL

Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced some of the highest growth rates globally over the past 10 years. While this means that people in these nations have become more optimistic about their social and economic future, the region continues to face a myriad of historical problems. In order to continue steady growth and achieve a future of equitable conditions in the region, our International Internship Program team seeks to build stronger communities from the grassroots level through fundraising for community development.

Funds raised are used to implement community-based education programs, pay staff to run the operations on-site, and invest in training for local leaders. Leadership Initiatives uses fundraised money to develop a network of support for actionable change and accountability between our team, the Leadership Initiatives staff, and the community stakeholders we work with.