More than 50 high school students from all nine Bay Area counties participated in the 2022 Norman Mineta Bay Area Summer Academy, which concluded on July 28 with a capstone presentation by each of the participating students.
This was the second year of the Bay Area Summer Academy, an online paid internship program that offered high school students the opportunity to discover the inner workings of regional government agencies, and start on a career path in public service.
The Summer Academy is a partnership between MTC and other regional Bay Area agencies, including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).
Students learned about the following topics, and more:
- How equity is a core value that makes for better public policy
- Environmental justice
- How data visualization tells a story
- Homeownership inequality and the history of redlining in the Bay Area
- People-powered transportation
- Air quality programs, including Spare the Air Youth
- Regional economic concerns, including climate tech finance and loan guarantees
The program was rated very positively in a post-program survey, where students shared that they learned a lot during their time at the academy. Students commented that it was “very valuable to talk to and ask questions to veterans of this field,” and that, “hearing about things like housing and air quality from the perspective of professionals broadened my perspective.”
The Bay Area Summer Academy was named for Secretary Norman Mineta after his passing in 2022. Mineta dedicated his life to public service: as San Jose City Council member and mayor, representing the South Bay in Congress, and serving as the Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush. under George W. Bush. Students heard from Mineta’s biographer Andrea Warren, as well as his good friend and protégé Congressman Mike Honda.
Throughout his accomplished life, Mineta cared deeply about creating educational and career avenues for the next generation of public servants, and supported this mission by founding in 1991 the Mineta Transportation Institute(link is external) at San Jose State University. MTC is proud to name the Bay Area Summer Academy after Secretary Mineta, honoring his memory by inspiring youth to become public servants.