Youth Summer Employment Program: Meet Levo

Oakridge Neighborhood

Levo & the City of Des Moines Public Information Office

Every summer Oakridge Neighborhood provides employment opportunities for low-income high schoolers, including 10 weeks of paid, part-time experience at nonprofit and public agencies. The Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) has immediate benefits- staying busy and earning a paycheck- but countless long-term benefits as well: YSEP participants know the value of work, the value of giving back to the community and how academic achievement is important to one’s career goals. This summer we decided to hear back from some of the participants and see what they learned throughout the summer and how they have benefited from the program.


“This summer I had the opportunity of working for the City of Des Moines, in their communications office. I had the chance to learn first hand what communications is all about. For example, I learned the customer the City of Des Moines is trying to reach is us! I learned the best way for us to communicate with the people of Des Moines is to get them more involved in what’s going on. I learned the city offers many resources such as:

  • City Source– The City of Des Moines’ quarterly Newsletter
  • DMTV 7- The City of Des Moines’ cable channel
  • And so much more!

I also learned the importance of teamwork. For the communications office to run smoothly, we must connect with the other offices such as parks & recreation, Public works, housing services, and much more. We are the voice for all the other offices.

This position has prepared me for the future because I had the chance to work with teams and learned how to be a good team player. Lastly, I also had the chance to further my public speaking and communicate my thoughts better.

I appreciate Oakridge for giving me this opportunity. Letting me experience the business world and how it works, I truly enjoyed it. It was nice to learn a lot from them. I would also like to thank the City of Des Moines. Having an internship at my age doesn’t happen very often which is why I am forever grateful. I will take this internship as the shaping of the beginning of my career.”


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