The city of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation honored 25 HIRE LA’s Youth interns at a closing ceremony held Friday July 27, 2018. For the past few years, the Bureau has utilized funding from the HIRE L.A.’s Youth program for its “Summer Introduction to Engineering and Science Program,” a six-week program that allows participants to rotate through the Bureau’s various divisions while working as assistants to engineers, office clerks and analysts.
“My advice to you is to find a job you really love that you’re passionate about. You’ll be good at it,” said Assistant General Manager Mas Dojiri to the participants. “I hope you do pursue science or engineering and I hope a few of you come back to the Bureau of Sanitation and that you do great things for the city of Los Angeles.”
As each student came to the podium they were joined by their mentors, who complimented participants on their intelligence, ability to quickly absorb information and for some, punctuality. Mariana Pedro, 19, worked as an intern for the Administration Division at the Hyperion Reclamation Plant. “I hope someday L.A. would be so gracious as to offer me a job as well,” she said. Mariana emigrated from Guatemala to the U.S. with her family in 2007 and attended Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Downtown L.A. where most of her courses were in dance. The internship allowed her to interact with engineers who helped her decide to study mechanical engineering when she starts college this fall at the University of California, Irvine, which will help give her broader experience in her chosen field, aerospace engineering, she said.
The HIRE L.A.’s Youth program has been invaluable, as it also taught her workplace etiquette and helped give her the confidence that she will succeed as an engineer, she said. “It’s important for us to be able to take that first step to be successful,” Mariana said about the program. “It’s good to get the future generations to take action, to take that first step to see what their futures will be like and get the opportunity to try it.” The interns were selected through a partnership with the city of L.A. Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), the Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).