Category Archives: summer internship

Two Mack students win in Northern California journalism contest


Pamela Tapia won several awards in 2011 for environmental and feature stories. Here she is pictured accepting an award from Betty Packard at last year’s Northern California Press Women Association awards’ ceremony.

Now a community college freshman, Tapia again won 2nd prize in 2012 in environmental reporting for a story on cleaning up West Oakland. The story first appeared in macksmack and was published in the June 2011 issue of  Oaktown Teen Times.

Stephen Vance, a senior at McClymonds and a summer intern at the Rose Foundation in 2011, won honorable mention for a story he wrote about the Greening of West Oakland.  The story first appeared in macksmack and was published in Oaktown Teen Times in December 2011.

Mayor Quan Kicks Off Summer Jobs Fair at Mack

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.

The Greening of West Oakland

photo by Quailyn Scott, Skyline High School

photo by Quailyn Scott, Skyline High School

By Stephen Vance

Greening West Oakland. Less cement, more parks and even ponds stocked with fish. More foot traffic and public transportation. And most of all, mixed income housing and retail. Those elements were part of a blueprint for West Oakland that 13 Oakland students created during their summer internship at The Rose Foundation.
“This was the first time students from McClymonds, Mandela, Oakland Tech, Oakland High, Street Academy and Skyline came up with their own vision of a healthy, sustainable community,” said Jill Ratner, president of The Rose Foundation.
“After all their work identifying the sources of pollution in the neighborhood and testimony about diesel fumes, they were able to present a truly beautiful blueprint for what they really want in their community,” Ratner added.
The blueprint was developed in response to Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) – a planning process, which will guide use planning for the next 25 years. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions per person as required by California law SB 375 (SB 375 was adopted by the CA legislature in 2008 and aims to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions  to 1990 levels by 2020 — and by 80 percent by 2050).
Two local agencies — Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments — are preparing  workshops in January, and will  release a scenario  for public comment in March or April.
The summer project also coincided with a pilot project by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean lead pollution at several West Oakland locations. For the first time, the EPA used a less invasive and less costly technology that uses fish bones to chemically bond with the lead, making it harmless to people.
The idea was to go beyond identifying toxic elements, health issues like asthma, and pollutants, which students at McClymonds tackled as part of the school’s Law & Government Academy’s focus on environmental justice. McClymonds students, who testified before the EPA and state and local boards, won an award for their community service last year.
“The summer was devoted to making West Oakland sustainable and empowering the voice of the youth,” said Ratner.
“Working on sustainability taught me to rethink urban planning and how that affects the community, ” said  Taneka O’Guin , a senior at Oakland Tech.

 In order to create a blueprint, students visited the self-reliant house at Merritt College and heard from a number of experts on sustainability and environmental technology. One of the speakers, Dr. Paloma Pazel emphasized the “six wins” necessary to make a sustainable community: better health; end of gentrification and displacement; affordable housing; reliable transportation; economic opportunity and community activism.
Over the summer, students learned how to make informed, responsible, and healthy decisions when it comes to the vision of sustainability in their community. They put their dreams and vision to work.

Mack alumna at Bakesale Betty’s

Brittnie Collins, Mack grad at CSU Northridge, at Bakesale Betty

Six McClymonds students selected as paid summer interns

by Pamela Tapia

Six students from McClymonds are among the 60 or so Oakland students selected for paid four-week summer internships through the city of Oakland’s  Mayor’s Office.

The students —  sophomore Devin Simmons, and juniors Eric Abundis, Dominique Albert, Jazmine McDowell, Victor Smith and Ciana Augustine — will work with Nancy Schiff at the Center for Youth Development through Law.

Students from the other high schools in Oakland will intern with businesses as diverse as Kaiser Construction, Metropolitan Golf Links, East Bay Zoological Society, More Radio, and KICU television.

In the past, as many as 250 students were selected as summer interns. “There is limited funding this summer for job slots,” said Cara Johnson, afterschool program coordinator at McClymonds. “The first place to cut in the budget is always programming for youth.”