By Alon Haynesworth, Education Voices student

While lots of Oakland youth are unemployed during the school year, many youth tend to get employed during the summertime because they have more time to work and focus on their jobs.

July is typically the summertime peak in youth employment. In July of 2012, the number of employed youth ages 16 to 19 rose by 2.1 million to 19.5 million. Exie Cotton, a student at Urban Roots, is an example of one of the unemployed youth that got employed during summertime.

She is an example because, similar to other students, she doesn’t have much time to go to school and have a job, so in the summer, she is more available and can focus more on the job. Exie, an assistant hair stylist who saves her income for her child, enjoys doing her job and would recommend it to unemployed youth that are looking to get employed.

Although there are many unemployed youth in Oakland, some youth are unemployed by choice and some are unemployed because they have something that restricts them from being able to work. Derricka Pierson, a student at Oakland Unity High School, is not currently looking for a job because her mother prohibits her from getting one.

Although there are many youth who are unemployed, there are also many programs located in Oakland whose missions are to help unemployed youth get employed and find jobs that they would enjoy doing. One of the many programs in Oakland that helps unemployed youth is Youth UpRising, located at 8711 MacArthur Boulevard. Youth UpRising helps youth from the age of 16 to 23 get employed. Another program that is located in Oakland is Youth Employment Partnership, located at 2300 International Boulevard.


This story and the entire Education Voices series were made possible through the support of The California Endowment. Our student reporters for this series are participants in programs at Urban Peace Movement. Our lead trainer in the Education Voices project is Irene Florez of Oakland Local staff and our staff reporters are Barbara Grady and Jon Leckie. Many thanks to the Endowment and UPM for the support of this program, and to our wonderful coaches, trainers and student reporters.

Follow the entire series here:

See our earlier California Endowment supported reporting package at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.