Public Participation

Bay Area high school students: become leaders in transportation, housing, equity and more

High school student
Michael Short

Bay Area high school students are encouraged to apply for the Norman Mineta Bay Area Summer Academy, a four-week paid internship with MTC, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District).

Over the course of four weeks, beginning July 6, 2023, students will learn how regional agencies deal with various issues, including environmental justice, housing and transportation equity and community health. Students are encouraged to apply(link is external) before the April 17, 2023, deadline. 

MTC, ABAG, BCDC and the Air District are sponsoring the Bay Area Summer Academy to provide insights into how regional governments address these issues and how the public – including students – can help advance equity across the Bay Area. Most sessions will be conducted remotely online, with the final session to be held in person in San Francisco at the regional agencies’ shared headquarters.  

During weekly seminars, students will learn about: 

  • What regional agencies do, and the skills needed for a future career in the public sector.
  • How to weigh in on decisions that impact the air we breathe; the neighborhoods we live in; how we get to work, school, or exercise; and other factors that shape the health of our communities. 
  • How students can have a voice in making decisions that benefit their communities.   
  • Questions like how long is a bridge supposed to last? Why are there so many potholes? Why is housing so expensive? Is the water really rising in the Bay? 

Participating students will attend online sessions, complete quizzes, and make a brief presentation on a local challenge involving transportation, housing, environmental justice and/or related topics.

Upon completing the Bay Area Summer Academy, students will receive a certificate to include in college, vocational and/or job applications. 

To apply for the Bay Area Summer Academy, students must:

  • Live and attend high school in the Bay Area.
  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have completed the ninth grade by July 2023.
  • Be able to attend online sessions and present on a topic related to the seminars.
  • If the student is under 18, have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate.

Enrollment is limited, and selections will emphasize a diversity of perspectives from students across the Bay Area. Grade point averages are not considered.

The Bay Area Summer Academy is named for Norman Mineta, a public servant who dedicated his life to making the Bay Area better. Mineta was a San Jose City Council member and mayor, represented the South Bay in Congress, and served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Throughout his accomplished life, he cared deeply about creating educational and career avenues for the next generation of public servants. MTC is proud to honor his memory by inspiring youth to become public servants.

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