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Summer Jobs Encouraging Me to Find My Dream

Abraham Alvarez completed a summer job at the tech startup company, Media Relevance, after applying to be a part of the Future Graduates Summer Tech Internship program.

Abraham Alvarez

Abraham Alvarez is being honored as a Youth Jobs+ Champion of Change.

My story begins in spring of 2012 when I was introduced to Mayor Edwin Lee’s Summer Jobs+ program through the Future Graduates Summer Tech Internship. I applied to be a Future Grads summer intern in 2012, but I was unable to work that year due to my commitment to my college prep classes I needed to take for High School at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. I still interviewed and met with Program leader SFPD Officer Raphael Rockwell and he remembered me from last year so when I re-applied for this summer I was lucky enough to land a summer job and to be placed at Media Relevance.

Media Relevance is a Tech startup company and my duties included customer development and understanding how both student and consumer behavior pertains to watching TV and video. In order to complete this task, I conducted interviews and created mock ups of my peers. My team was made up of three other high school interns, and we generated surveys and quizzes concerning the use of social networking and TV in order provide real world research which will translate into an “app” in the near future for Media Relevance. It was my first real-world work experience, in which I was in the office Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-5pm, and I had a great time.

Being raised by just my mother, I learned a lot about the importance of hard-work and that giving up should be the last option in all things. She also made sure that school always came first in my life. Because of the hardships and lessons I took from her, I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to work with the Media Relevance (MR) team, and to know that my Mayor, Ed Lee, has made a pledge to help youth like me receive supportive jobs and training over the summer. The businesses that have taken us in are helping prepare others like me for what lies ahead by teaching us valuable skills and allowing us to earn some money, which I have saved most of for college.

From my time at MR I have found that I am most interested in the areas of health and how technology is making things better, specifically with eyesight care. I have worn glasses since I was three and I want to potentially become an eye doctor or surgeon or possibly even be the next creator of a product like Google Glass. I want to make a difference by helping others with disabilities like my own.

I am honored to be a White House Champion of Change for the Youth Jobs+ Program, representing San Francisco. This means a lot to me and encourages me to continue to do positive things and use my summers to do meaningful work. I plan to continue to learn from the experiences of others and develop technical skills so that when I graduate in a few years, I will know much of the advanced materials and be able to get a great job. I am already looking forward to next summer and spending this year talking about my experience with my family, classmates, and community hopefully they too will have an opportunity like this. In the meantime I am looking forward to the 10th grade, graduating with honors in a few years, and being the first in my family to attend and graduate from a university.

Abraham “Abe” Alvarez is 15 and a 10th grader attending Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco, CA. He was selected to participate in the Summer Jobs+ Program through sfciti’s Future Graduates Tech Program in a paid internship with San Francisco based Tech startup Media Relevance. Sfciti is a non-profit organization created to leverage the power of the technology community around civic action in San Francisco.