Worksite Spotlight: The SF Youth Commission

This month we would like to recognize the San Francisco Youth Commission for the unique internship opportunity they provide to YouthWorks participants who are placed in their office.

The San Francisco Youth Commission is a group of youth representatives responsible for advising the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor on laws and policies that primarily affect young people.  They provide research, comments, and recommendations before such laws can be passed.

Interns from YouthWorks who have been placed in the office assist the Youth Commission and staff to meet their mission by providing research, project support, and sometimes serving as a voice for young people in San Francisco. In this internship, youth work alongside Program and Policy Coordinator Mario Yedidia, who has served as a YouthWorks mentor over the last two years.

This year we placed intern A. Robertson with the Youth Commission due to her strong outgoing personality and her desire to advocate for her peers.   Robertson has had the opportunity to view several Board of Supervisors meetings, has been able to meet various San Francisco Commissioners, and has researched several important initiatives such as the one relating to the discounted Muni Youth Fast Pass.

A normal day at the internship includes a variety of tasks, depending on upcoming priorities for the Youth Commission. Activities include taking calls and meeting notes, updating the Youth Commission calendar, creating a weekly newsletter, and researching new policies. There are often special projects that the intern helps out with such as creating materials for commission meetings and power point presentations for Board of Supervisors meetings on policies affecting youth. At other times, the intern might engage peers through focus groups and surveys about issues that impact them.

When asked what she is learning on the job, Robertson mentioned the number of new skills she is developing because of the variety of work she is able to do in the position. In addition to basic clerical skills, she is also learning to use many computer applications and is getting experience in the many steps of the creation of new policies that represent youth interests.  She says she would recommend this position to anyone who cares about the issues affecting youth today.

Written by YouthWorks Employment Coordinator Larry Berry