San Francisco YouthWorks (YW) is a unique high school internship program that provides youth with paid work experience to develop their readiness for work and promote interest in public service careers. Since 1997, YW has served over 7,500 youth from every neighborhood in San Francisco.

Blog Post Archive


Welcome Katie!

IMG_5001YouthWorks would like to welcome our newest Employment Coordinator, Catherine (Katie) Ho!

Katie Ho was born and raised in Canton, Ohio—the home of the Football Hall of Fame.  She moved to the Bay Area for college, where she graduated and received her BA in Development Studies (the study of developing countries) in 2007.  After graduating,Katie worked in administrative support for a law office and a non-profit for youth with severe emotional disturbance.  She then decided to go to Cal State East Bay to pursue her masters in Social Work with a focus on Community Mental Health.  After Katie graduated in 2013, she pursued her passions to connect with youth and their communities by working in several schools Alameda and Contra Costa County doing school-based therapy.

Katie currently manages internships in the Building Inspection Department, Planning Department, Municipal Transportation Agency, Public Utilities Commission, Public Works, the Port, and SFO.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, playing with dogs, and running.

Summer Session Mentor Applications Now Available


We would like to thank all of our mentors for their dedication during the YouthWorks 2014-2015 School Year Session. They continue to provide positive and invaluable learning experiences for our youth in the workplace, and we are grateful for all the time they have put in to supporting their interns.

With summer quickly approaching we are shifting our programming into high gear. Last summer, YouthWorks was able to offer over 300 internships to low-income high school students in San Francisco (nearly double what we offer during the school year). This would be not be possible without all of our hardworking mentors.

We are always looking to grow our amazing team of mentors, especially for summer session. If you are eligible  to be a YouthWorks worksite mentor and would like to participate in YouthWorks Summer Session, please fill out an application (for new mentors) or mentor update sheet ( for returning mentors). Both can be found here.

Applications are due February 28th. For more information check out our website or shoot us an email at info@sfyouthworks.org 


Welcome Brittany!


YouthWorks would like to welcome our newest Employment Coordinator, Brittany!

Brittany Robinson was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. She moved to the Bay Area in 2009 to attend San Francisco State University, where she earned a B.A. in Creative Writing. After graduating Brittany interned for San Francisco nonprofit 826 Valencia, where she developed and taught creative writing curriculum to students in a summer program. From there she went on to work for a similar nonprofit in Oakland where she fine tuned her youth development skills while working with students at Bret Harte Middle School in East Oakland. Brittany is passionate about empowering youth and supporting them as they cultivate strong leadership skills.

Brittany currently manages internships in the Recreation and Parks Department. In her spare time you are likely to find Brittany reading, riding her bike, traveling, or playing with her cat, Catty.

New Study Shows Connection Between Youth Employment and Violence Reduction in Chicago

Photo by Daniel Schwen

Photo by Daniel Schwen

A recent article in Science found that youth who were enrolled in a summer employment program in Chicago were less likely to become arrested for a violent crime offense than a control group that did not receive any employment services. The employment program provided youth with paid internships as well as professional development workshops and personalized mentorship.

In the study’s abstract, the author writes that “The findings make clear that such programs need not be hugely costly to improve outcomes for disadvantaged youth; well-targeted, low-cost employment policies can make a substantial difference, even for a problem as destructive and complex as youth violence.”

For access to the article, please click here.

Introducing the IDP

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.07.32 AMThis week, Employment Coordinators will introduce YouthWorks’ Individualized Development Plan (IDP) to interns. Interns will use the IDP to help set specific, short term goals during their internships. Previous interns have set goals that included raising their GPA, researching college options, and getting their drivers license.

Employment Coordinators and YLT members will periodically review these goals with interns to offer support and services that aid youth in reaching their goals. Employment Coordinators hope that by teaching youth strategies to set goals now that they are able to use these methods in the future.

'14-'15 School Year Interns Head Off to Work


SF YouthWorks would like to wish our newly hired ’14 – ’15 School Year interns a great first day of work this week! Interns have already been hard at work attending two pre-employment trainings that provided instruction on work-readiness topics such as soft skills, time management, and dress code. Our Employment Coordinators would like to remind interns to review their “First Day of Work Tips” sheet in order to make the best first impression at work.

Welcome Sabrina!


YouthWorks would like to welcome our newest Employment Coordinator, Sabrina!

Sabrina Mah was born and raised in the East Bay Area, specifically Alameda and Oakland. She attended Encinal High School, and graduated with her BA in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara in 2008. After attaining her degree, Sabrina was contracted by EPIK (English Program in Korea) and moved to Ulsan, South Korea to teach English as a foreign language at Dalcheon Middle School. When she returned to the United States, she completed her teaching credential program at Mills College in 2012, and has since worked as an English teacher with Bancroft Middle School in San Leandro and Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, as well as a tutor and Recreation Leader for the Emeryville Community Services Department.

In her spare time, Sabrina enjoys reading fantasy novels and spending time with her family, friends, and dog. Sabrina manages internships with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Introducing Our 2014-2015 Youth Leadership Team!


YouthWorks has hired its 2014-2015 Youth Leadership Team (YLT)! Youth Leadership Team members are former YouthWorks interns who return for a second year in order to plan and facilitate workshops for current interns and assist in general YouthWorks programming.

To learn more about our fabulous YLT members, read on:

Alexis was born in San Francisco and raised in the Western Addition area. She is a junior at George Washington High School and is hoping to attend CSU Long Beach. She would like to become a pediatric nurse. Alexis is also working with Juma Ventures and currently works at AT&T Park. On her free time Alexis loves to go shopping, explore new things, try new foods and also hang out with her friends. Alexis is passionate about school, friends and family and she wishes to travel the world one day.

Gabrielle (Gabby) was born in San Francisco and raised in the Richmond District. Her interest in mentoring youth started when she decided to volunteer as a Sunday school teacher for both 3rd and 4th graders at Star of the Sea Religious Education Program, and also becoming a member of the Lowell California Scholarship Federation as a tutor in her sophomore year. She applied to SF YouthWorks the summer before her junior year, and acquired an internship at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department’s Prisoner Legal Services. Now, she is in her junior year at Lowell High School, where she is a part of Lowell Robotics, Lowell Fil-Am Club, Lowell Volunteer’s Club, and the Peer Resources Program as a mentor. She is determined to join the Lowell Forensic Society and Mock Trial as well, in order to help her pursuit in becoming a criminal lawyer. Her hobbies include practicing the viola, writing music, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Grace was born in Chicago and moved to San Francisco a few years later. She grew up in the South of Market area ever since she moved to San Francisco. Grace is currently a high school senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and will be graduating in May 2015. She hopes to major in biochemistry in college and later be an oncologist. Her hobbies include listening to music, baking, watching her favorite movies, The Sandlot and Miracle, and going to the ice rink to spend time with her friends. Before becoming a Youth Leadership Team member, she interned at Bank of the Orient as a receptionist and at San Francisco General Hospital as an assistant to senior clerks at the front desk.

Mindy was born and is currently living in San Francisco, CA. She currently goes to Lowell High School, class of 2015. At the age of fifteen, Mindy began her first internship under the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in the summer of 2013. There she worked with other youth in learning about teamwork, leadership, and the natural environment. Later on, she also participated in other internships, constantly striving to improve upon her leadership and teamwork skills. At school she is a peer mentor, CSF tutor, and an officer for her volunteer club. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, singing, reading, biking, and hiking.

Tiana was raised and born in San Francisco, California. She currently attends George Washington High School as a student in her junior year. Her earliest experience with job employment was with MYEEP (Mayor’s Youth Educational Employment Program), a program of JCYC. The position she worked under was as an intern and teacher assistant at Little Children’s Developmental Center. She interned with the Department of Public Health in the Summer 2014 session.

Run (or Walk!) the SF Aloha 5K



On September 20th, runners and walkers of all abilities will gather at San Francisco’s Crissy Field for JCYC’s SF Aloha 5K. This event-packed day will feature a 5K race, a Keiki Run (for ages 6-13), and Tot Trot (for ages 2-5) as well as Hawaiian themed music and snacks for after the race. All runners will also receive Aloha goodie bags, generously provided by our sponsors. Pets welcome!

Register here today! (And be sure to note SF YouthWorks with your registration.)

Proceeds for the 5K will support children and youth services for JCYC, including the SF YouthWorks program.

Intern Spotlight: Anna Bernick

Mayor’s Office on Disability Intern Anna Bernick wrote this piece describing her first few weeks as a YouthWorks Intern. To see a video of her presentation, click on the link here. (Her presentation begins at 29:24.) 


For the past three weeks I have had the privilege to work at the Mayor’s Office on Disability. At MOD I do much more than filing and copying. I go to some of the meetings with the other staff members, write up articles for the website, and do research about the Disability Rights’ Movement.

For the meetings, I have been to three of them. The first one was on my second day of work Tuesday June 10th. The meeting was for Vision Zero, a project first founded in Sweden in 1997 for pedestrian safety on the crosswalks. The program was introduced to SF by Mayor Lee because there were 25 pedestrian and bicyclists’ deaths in 2013 alone. At the meeting, Fire Marshall Commander Ali presented about Vision Zero’s history, John Knox White of MTA talked about VZ’s Safety Education subcommittee, and Supervisor Yee discussed the District Attorney and education program. My second meeting that happened on Friday June 20th was a crucial one because it was the meeting of the Mayor’s Disability Council. The MDC was formed in October 1998 for three reasons:

  • To advise the Mayor on disability issues
  • To work with the MOD to ensure ADA Compliance
  • And to provide a public forum to discuss disability issues

During that meeting, I was able to make a presentation about myself where I explained who I was, what are the pros and cons of my disability, my career goals, and what I hope to learn during my internship. The MDC meets on every third Friday of the month at City Hall, RM 400 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday July 18th. The most recent meeting I went to was on Monday June 23rd. That meeting was for elevators for SROs or Single Room Occupancy. Since many who live in SROs use wheelchairs or have trouble using the stair, elevators are their only option. However since many elevators either aren’t up to code or often break, many residents are often times prisoners in their own homes forcing them to miss things such as medical appointments and important events.

Even though it’s only been three weeks I have worked on many articles. The articles I’m working on now are about the Disability Rights’ Movement, disability rights activists, new updates, and the new staff at MOD. Most of these articles are set to show on the MOD’s website.

Most importantly I am learning a lot about the Disability Rights’ Movement. Events like the 504 sit in of 1977, the “Deaf President Now” protests at Gallaudet University of 1988 and “Capitol Crawl” of 1990 are the most important events of the movement and each event ended in a significant progress in disability rights. As a young person with a disability, I think I along with other teenagers should learn more about this entire movement.