From June 12 through August 5, KYCC’s Prevention Education hosted its MYPARC Summer Leadership Program. This is the first internship that the MPCI team led where many of the ideas that went into the curriculum were inspired by what they did in MYPARC, a coalition that MPCI runs during the regular school year. MPCI has a couple of goals in MacArthur Park, which include focusing on promoting smoke-free environments and encouraging the health of the Westlake community. MPCI’s continued presence at MacArthur Park, featuring family-friendly events and programming, is essential to fostering a space for families to enjoy the park. The program had 12 youth participants, ages 13-18, from schools all over Los Angeles. The activities organized by the interns over the course of the three-week series, reached about 60 people local to MacArthur Park.
MPCI plans to run a Fall Leadership Program that will promote a smoke-free MacArthur Park and will host events for all ages. The internship is intended to develop youth leaders among high school students and to maintain a presence, while educating youth on the importance of shared public spaces like MacArthur Park. Through the Leadership Program, interns learned the many facets of programming community events at the park. The youth were split into teams to lead an activity per week and worked to consider the needs of the community in their programming, creating action plans and agendas, itemizing budgets, and delegating roles.
When asked about what they learned from this program, Hanon Maruyama, an 11th grade Summer Leadership Program participant said, “I learned a lot of practical skills relating to planning, taking actions, leading a project, financing, and even budgeting. I will use these skills to set up new clubs and better manage my community service project that I already made.” The program also included a civic engagement component, in which participants learned about the structure of local government and each student shared their public comments at a mock city council meeting.
Thanks to the local businesses that prepared food for the interns such as Doña Bibi’s, La Soledad Bakery, Crafted Donuts, and Brothers Sandwich Shop! This program was funded by Sierra Health Foundation.
To learn more about KYCC’s MYPARC and MPCI programs, click here.