More than 100 youth, students and interns gathered at the Temecula City Conference Center, July 26, in recognition of their work at the annual summer Mayor Luncheon.
Led by City Economic Analyst Charles Walker, various guest speakers shared their advice and encouragement for city interns and program participants. Councilmember James Stewart, City Manager Aaron Adams and Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Rahn all spoke on their own backgrounds as city interns.
“In 1995, I was an intern, and it truly opened my eyes,” Adams said. “I didn’t have any intention on becoming city manager or making a career in public service, but I got an exposure to what a career in local government would be.”
Provided with lunch on the last day of the city internship program, the guests were reunited with their program peers. According to University of California Los Angeles-bound city intern Axel Malahieude, his role entailed developing and designing the workforce development programs in which many of the luncheon guests participated.
The intern appreciation lunch invited participants from various city programs such as the Youth Entrepreneur Program, Leadership Academy, Future Physicians, Legal Scholars and Global Citizens, along with the city interns comprised of high school and college students.
Upon entrance, guests received a raffle ticket for prizes including $15 Jamba Juice gift cards, a free jazzercise lesson, a free Jersey Mike’s sandwich, a desk lamp, Highlander backpacks, a Camelback bag, water bottles and a new Amazon Fire tablet. Guests also received a copy of the book “Of Beetles and Angels” by Mawi Asgendom.
Walker described the motivation behind putting the luncheon together.
“These individuals have spent their mornings through evenings trying to better themselves, and the city of Temecula and council would like to thank them,” Walker said. “They are trying to make a future for themselves.”
During the luncheon, former interns spoke of their experiences including city of Menifee Economic Development Analyst Kayla Charters, whose public service began as a city of Temecula intern in the Economic Development Department.
Charters said her experience was “extra special” because she followed a career into that department and used her practice leading and developing projects into her career now.
“I was an intern here several years ago myself, and it really helped me understand my future career,” Rahn said. “I still stay in touch with these guys I met in my internship. Tell us your stories. The city has a special appreciation for the work you do, and we want to see you succeed.”