My Youth Leadership Academy Experience

tecenter News

By: James Yamat, Organizational Development Intern (August 8, 2019)

The County Administrator’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) internship program has given me such great insight on personal development. I have participated for the past two summers in this program and each year has allowed me to grow tremendously. During my first internship, where I interned at the Alameda County Library, I attained a general sense of workplace dynamics. My time at the Library improved my time-management and comfort level in a formal setting. Taking what I learned from the Library into my second summer internship provided me with the opportunity to focus on what I needed to gain from the internship.

This summer I had the pleasure of joining the Alameda County, Training & Education Center (TEC). In addition to assisting with customer service, finance, and logistics, I was entrusted with an accessibility project. As a team, we are constantly striving to provide better access and grow our offerings to meet the needs of all. I led a project to provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) closed captioning for all videos used by our trainers to ensure any hearing-impaired learners were able to fully participate in all our curriculums. I saw this as an opportunity to create a trainer’s standard that was both cost-effective and reliable.

After some research and finding that captioning services can cost upwards of $1.00 per minute – I created a faster and free solution. The entire TEC team was so invested in learning this tool and process that I prepared my own training curriculum and handbook for them. My mentors gave me the opportunity to teach them something, and I must admit that it was their support and guidance that gave me the confidence to command a classroom on my own. The curriculum was exactly what I wanted to leave as a mark of my growth. I am thankful for my team’s support because their motivation helped me develop so many skills, which will be essential for my future successes. I was truly part of the team, attending meetings and even got to mentor another intern from Project Search.

Through the YLA program, not only have I developed myself professionally, I have been able to gain new skills and, more importantly, I have been able to meet some truly great people. By the way, we shared lots of laughs along the way. The interns, team members, supervisor, and everyone who participated in the program were amazing. I hope YLA continues to grow for future generations!

Shout out to Janet Liang for running the coolest program out here! Now, I’ve got to finish my shark task before 5 pm.

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