YouthWorks staff are getting ready for the influx of new interns who will begin work in mid-October. We received hundreds of applications for the school year program from youth throughout San Francisco. After reading through all applications as a team, we have selected a large group of youth to invite in for interviews over the next two weeks. We plan to identify over 150 new interns to participate in the program.
Our worksite mentors are also preparing for their new interns by clarifying tasks and projects for them to work on. This year we will place interns in thirty different city departments, ranging from the SF Airport to the City Attorney’s office to the Department of Building Inspection. In each participating department, dedicated mentors have volunteered to supervise and mentor a San Francisco youth for the school year, overseeing their on-the-job experience and helping them to develop awareness of future careers.
On Tuesday, we held a mentor networking and training event to bring mentors and staff together to discuss the upcoming program year. One workshop activity was to identify mentor best practices in orienting new interns during their first week. Some shared strategies include: ensuring youth understand the work of the department, providing tours that include where the bathroom is and where s/he can find a snack, introducing youth to coworkers, and establishing mutual expectations for the year.
At the workshop, we also discussed a new tool for this year, a Baseline Assessment Form. This tool asks mentors to assess youth’s initial level of mastery of key tasks, technologies, and the YouthWorks Work Readiness Competencies (communication, collaboration, adaptability, productivity, and responsibility/effort). This snapshot of the youth’s starting point will enable us to make clear plans for development and to measure growth over the course of the program.
We’re looking forward to another great year of youth internships in SF City government.
Pictured: YouthWorks worksite mentors share strategies to orient new interns.