High school students participate in City summer program to learn more about local government

Young people from throughout Sacramento this week shared their ideas for improving life in the city with the Sacramento City Council.

Each year the “Summer @ City Hall” program provides local youth with an opportunity to actively participate in their local government and community.

Seventy high school sophomores and juniors were supported throughout the program by a variety of team members including City staff members and credentialed teachers who deliver a curriculum focusing on civic engagement, local governmental structure and youth development.

More than 1,000 students have participated in Summer at City Hall since it was launched 12 years ago.

“This such an amazing opportunity for these students, to work on something all summer and then have a chance to share it with the broader public,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It’s also an opportunity for us adults to see how capable and thoughtful our young people are.”

This year the students participated in a hybrid version of the program, with time spent virtually on Zoom and in-person at City Hall. City staff said they hope to have the internship and in-person Council presentation components return in 2023.

Over the course of the program, students work in groups to research topics affecting Sacramento. This year included: domestic violence, recycling, climate change and water conservation. The students then develop plans to address these topics and communicate with the general public. At the end of the program, the plans are presented to the City Council.

In addition to daily instructional classroom sessions, students were required to complete a 42-hour wellness component.

All students received five high school elective credits and a monetary stipend upon program completion. Students not attending partnering school districts receive a letter of completion for community service hours.

The Summer @ City Hall internship program is a collaboration between the City’s Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment Department, Youth DivisionSacramento City Unified School District, Twin Rivers School District and Natomas Unified School District.

Applications for the program typically go live in March. All applicants must attend a high school in the one of the participating districts or live in the Sacramento city vicinity to intern.

For more information visit the City’s website.

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