This past July, Civicorps was honored to host the launch of the City of Oakland’s inaugural #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps program. Aptly named Oakland Forward, Civicorps is among several youth-serving organizations in Oakland who will collectively receive nearly $6 Million. The grant, awarded from California Volunteers, Office of the Governor, supports green-collar jobs, workforce development, and public service careers.
Thanks to this generous grant, Civicorps is able to give Corpsmembers the chance to pursue new career pathways in conservation. Notably, we established a new Urban Farmer internship in July 2022 in conjunction with Dig Deep Farms. Located in San Leandro, Dig Deep Farms is a six-farm Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League (DSAL) social organization that offers daily assistance to those who have historically been denied access to both healthy food and opportunities for work experience and jobs. The Urban Farmer internship entails duties including seed sowing, watering, weeding, composting, harvesting, and produce handling
After joining Civicorps in April 2022 as a Conservation Intern, Stephanie Polanco wanted to expand her horizons while continuing to work outdoors. So, when we presented this new internship opportunity to our Corpsmembers, Stephanie realized that the commute to Dig Deep Farms would be easier and the position allowed her to maintain a connection with nature. She started working at Dig Deep Farms (DDF) in September. Since starting to work for DDF, Stephanie has gotten praise from her supervisor Cameron, who says: “Stephanie has been a great addition to the team. It has been a lot of learning but she has been taking in information fast. Having her has been a big help so far.” Since she began working at DDF, Stephanie says that she has enjoyed picking up new skills. She has learned how to properly seed, care for, and produce plants as well as how to care for some of the farm’s animals.
Working with Civicorps and Dig Deep Farms “has shown me that I am capable of lots of physical labor and made me feel more confident,” muses Stephanie.
“[Oakland Forward] is part of a much bigger plan for Oakland, California to be a city of service, and for us to build a pipeline of the next generation of incredible public servants,” reflected Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in July. Through professional training and investment in young adults like Stephanie, we’re so proud to be part of the movement to tackle environmental injustice, and create green jobs for youth in Oakland and beyond.