These high school students spent six weeks at City Hall. Here’s what they learned

After spending six weeks in the “Summer @ City Hall” program, 68 high school students shared their experience during a presentation on July 25 at the Sacramento City Council meeting.

Each year the program provides local youth with an opportunity to actively participate in their local government and community.

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

This year marked a return to full in-person instruction for the first time since 2019 and the first time freshmen were able to participate.

“These students are nothing short of amazing and have all the potential in the world,” Sarah Musser, recreation general superintendent with the City’s Youth, Parks & Community Enrichment (YPCE) Department said. “After seeing them participate in this program, I’ve never been more sure in the future of our country.”

Over the course of the program, students work in groups to research topics affecting Sacramento. This year included youth program awareness, homelessness, job accessibility, clothing waste, human trafficking and the danger of fentanyl.

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 and students celebrate their completion at a graduation ceremony.

This year one group will see their project come to life at an event organized through Councilmember Lisa Kaplan’s office. The “Pink Posse” student team aimed to address clothing waste and affordability in their project.

Their idea for a free clothing swap meet will be held Aug. 26 at North Natomas Regional Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition to daily instructional classroom sessions, students were required to complete a wellness component that includes career exploration and readiness, financial literacy, personal mental wellness, resume development, and various subject areas.

The Summer @ City Hall program is a collaboration between YPCE, Sacramento City Unified School DistrictTwin Rivers School District and Natomas Unified School District.

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

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.

For more information visit the City’s website.

%d bloggers like this: