KFP: Three local youths spend summer interning with Kinston mayor


by David Anderson

From left, Adam Caldwell, Austin Croom and Carly Sanderson along with Mayor B.J. Murphy listen to Gary Green, assistant director of human resources, as he gives a new employee briefing to the Mayors interns.
Janet S. Carter / The Free Press

Three local youths have spent the summer with a level of access to Kinston city government few people get.

“They’ve all got a key to my office. … The idea is to expose them to how city government operates,” said Mayor B.J. Murphy, who has been working with three summer interns.

The interns include Adam Caldwell, 19, of Sampson County, a freshman at ECU and a member of the N.C. National Guard; Austin Croom, 17, of Dover, a rising senior at Bethel Christian Academy; and Carly Sanderson, 16, of Jones County, a rising junior at Bethel and is dual-enrolled at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics.

The trio came on board late last month, and has had the opportunity to tour community facilities such as the Woodmen Community Center, City Hall, the Public Services complex and more, sat in on a meeting of the Lenoir County Transportation Committee, attended events such as the recent presentation of a grant for Kinston’s African-American Music Trail by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and more.

They have also worked on various projects to benefit the city.

Caldwell has conducted research on how best to improve local bills made in the state Legislature.

“I’ve always been very interested in government and politics,” he said. “When I read about this internship I felt it was right up my alley and decided to apply.”

Croom looked into the regulations on trapping squirrels in the city limits — he and Caldwell recently made presentations on their findings before the Kinston City Council.

“I thought it would be a good chance to see what our local leaders do on a daily basis. … I’ve enjoyed my work on the projects that I’ve had,” Croom said.

Sanderson has been reaching out to residents of Mitchelltown who are continuing to work to improve their neighborhood, and helping Murphy with content for his regular newsletter.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said of her experience. “It’s given me a better look at what our officials do on a day-to-day basis.”

The interns also had an opportunity to meet with Gary Green, the city’s assistant director for human resources, and go through a typical new-employee orientation.

“We all recognize how valuable good employees are,” Green told them.


David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or danderson@freedomenc.com. Follow him on Twitter at DavidFreePress.



Name: Adam Caldwell

Age: 19

Occupation: Student at ECU; N.C. National Guard


Name: Austin Croom

Age: 17

Occupation: Student, Bethel Christian Academy


Name: Carly Sanderson

Age: 16

Occupation: Student, BCA; volunteer with Blessings in a Backpack