Serving the Youth of San Francisco

In the few weeks I’ve been interning for the Mayor’s Office of Education I’ve already experienced numerous work days that ended way past 5pm and days where there was no such thing as time for a lunch break. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way since each day at work is filled with excitement, learning experiences, and the rewarding feeling that I’m helping to make a difference in the lives of children in San Francisco.

I have been lucky enough to work on a plethora of projects in my time here. My tasks have ranged from drafting meeting notes for the Mayor to helping out at a graduation celebration for students living in public housing to researching ways to make streets safer in school areas. Some days were spent running from rallies on the steps of City Hall to Committee hearings without any time to stop. As I watched the Board of Supervisors pass significant policies on education, I realized the impact of our office’s work all across San Francisco. On the other hand, I was able to see the office’s direct impact on the lives of individual students while helping to organize a ceremony for recipients of the Mayor’s Scholarship Award.

I’m also fortunate to have the opportunity to work directly with Hydra Mendoza, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Education and Family Services and a member of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. Not only is she a strong advocate of public education, but she is the first and only Filipina elected to office in San Francisco. It’s incredibly inspiring to see a woman of color in such a powerful position, with so much influence in education policy. She has been a great mentor. By sitting-in on her meetings and watching her in action at a Board of Education meeting, I was able to see how important policy decision are made.

It would be an understatement to say I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have been given as a Matsui Local Government Fellow and as an intern for the Mayor’s Office. I know the things I learn this summer will help shape my career path and help me grow as an advocate for education.

Sally Ching is a senior at UC Berkeley studying political science, education, and public policy. She is currently interning with the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Education as a Matsui Local Government Fellow.