The academic courses were complimented by an afternoon internship within a City department- e.g.Parks and Recreation; the Sacramento Police Department, City Manager’s Office and many more.This year, the program was expanded to include students from not only Sacramento City Unified and the Sacramento County Office of Education, but also from our new partners, the Twin Rivers and Natomas School Districts.
The program carries a number of benefits.For the students, it is not only a resume builder. It is also the chance to learn how their local government works, gain experience in a real- world job situation and gain some of the soft skills that are critical to their success in school, career and beyond.
For the City, it is an opportunity to contribute to the development of a new generation of leaders. Additionally, having these young people around City Hall is an important culture shift. They are a reminder of our collective responsibility in creating an environment where our young people can prosper. It is also to our collective benefit, when they do.
As a culminating exercise, the students worked in groups geographically by City Council District groups to develop a project that would enhance the communities in which they live.They plan to continue to work on these projects once the school year begins.
These ideas were a needs assessment of sorts from the perspective of young adults in our community.We have much to learn from these young people, and I thought it important that their ideas be made known.They will also be presenting to the City Council in the next month.Here are their projects:
Build a North Natomas Community Center that would bring community meeting spaces, an Olympic sized pool, and other amenities to the area. This would be the first community center in North Natomas.
Create a Youth Drug Awareness Program designed to combat youth drug usage, by starting an anti-drug use campaign through traditional and social media.
Bring a green (electric, zero emission) D3 Racing go-kart experience to the City, an attraction that brings jobs, tax revenue, and a safe place for families to congregate.
Promote Bike Safety Awareness along Freeport Blvd by McClatchy High School through additional signage and a student bike safety educational campaign.
Promote Distracted Driving Awareness and ensure young people understand the risks of distracted driving, most importantly texting while driving and wrinking while driving. The promotion would be done through advertising, giveaways, and a video that has actually been created by the group.
Bring Illumination to District 6 to enhance safety, by replacing broken and dimmed lights with LED lights that are able to change color when an emergency vehicle is approaching.
Build a Community Teen Center as a place where teens could go during down time e.g. after school, weekends, and summer, to work on school work, participate in workshops, exercise, play electronics,
access computers,find jobs, etc.
Beautify Meadowview to make the image of Meadowview more attractive to both potential residents and business partners (more jobs and tax revenue would come) by repairing sidewalks, occupying vacant lots, paving streets, planting flowers.
County Teen Center. Same concept as District 7, but accessible to students in Rosemont and Rancho Cordova.
These are all excellent ideas that will enhance the life and livability of our City.Our responsibility as a City Council and City is to support these young people as they begin to understand their responsibilities to their communities and help them to be successful in their endeavors.
In addition to his council duties, Jay works as an independent consultant and policy advisor on education reform and youth policy and strategies.