by Stephen Vance
Her dream was to fight fires and save lives.
Daileesha McDonald got a step closer to that dream Wednesday when Mayor Jean Quan brought a summer jobs fair to McClymonds High School in West Oakland. “How exciting to find out that a summer job was available in the fire department,” said McDonald, a 9th grader at Mack.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan held a press conference at McClymonds to launch a summer jobs program for youths that complements her 100 block initiative, a program that focuses services and enforcement on the 100 blocks in Oakland, to reduce crime in the 5 percent of the city where more than 90 percent of the shootings and homicides take place. She introduced staff members and McClymonds principal Kevin Taylor.
About 75 students picked up forms and chatted with representatives from Oakland’s fire, police, public works, and parks and recreation departments. Some were from Bunche, Oakland High and Oakland Tech. The city will hold a similar fair at Lockwood Gardens tomorrow and at Willie Wilkins Park on Saturday.
“It’s so much easier for me to apply for a summer job right here at school,” said Desire Combs, an 11th grader.
Mayor Quan told the press that she wanted to reach youths at every level, whether they want to “build a skyscraper or get a doctorate.”
When she walked around the Lower Bottoms, said Mayor Quan, she met a teenager who told her, “If I had a job, I wouldn’t be selling on this corner.”
Her goal is to create 1,000 jobs for youth, most paying a stipend. The city’s parks and recreation department alone is planning to hire more than 200 youths for the summer.