“Today’s youth will be future leaders and this program will prepare them for just that,” says Kylie Dickinson, 16.

Sacramento City Hall

Sacramento City Hall

Dickinson and other selected high school students have dedicated their summer to take part in the “Summer at City Hall” program where youth are exposed to elements of the business world while forming greater connections to the Sacramento community.

“Youth learn how to step ahead and take hold of their futures through classes held at city hall and internships throughout the city departments,” says Dickinson. “This program teaches youth skills that aren’t often reviewed in the average school classroom and it provides youth with great chances to network and find mentors.”

“I’ve always wanted to teach kids on how to make a difference and make a change in the city and I knew this program would give me the tools to do so, says Sandra Dianda, youth mentor.

The seven week program encourages skill development in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, and city work. Participants’ time is invested  in hands-on learning. For at least 6 hours each week, teens are required to intern with police and fire departments, animal shelters, council members and others. Additional days are spent advocating to better their communities and proposing solutions to local issues which will later be brought to the attention of Sacramento council members.

“All in all, the biggest help the youth are giving back to the community is getting an education and applying it for the future,” says Beckey Donham, 16.

“Because of this program, many doors were opened,” says Beckey Donham. “I plan to continue interning for District 1 and Angelique Ashby, I am currently applying for Sacramento Youth Commission, something I would not have known about if not for the program.  Recently, I presented at a weekly city council meeting, something I would not have been entirely comfortable with before working at city hall.  More than anything, I plan to stay in contact with the amazing people I have met and befriended at the program, and try my best to make Sacramento and anywhere I go the best it can be.”