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Summer camp helps incoming high schoolers


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This is way cool. Next week, 375 teens who are incoming freshmen at eight south Sacramento high schools will converge on Sacramento State for a unique leadership development experience.

“Sacramento State’s deep connections to the neighborhoods we serve are crucial components of our mission to keep local talent local,” says Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez. “These partnerships create a college-going culture in underserved areas, and they show the region’s young people that there is a university right here in Sacramento that is ready to help them achieve their dreams.”

The three-day camp, which starts Tuesday, July 30, is a part of WayUp Sacramento’s Youth Leadership Program. The students will spend one night in a campus residence hall.

Peak Adventures, Sac State’s outdoor recreation program, will lead team-building exercises on Day 1. Throughout the next two days, students will circulate through six program blocks that target specific themes, objectives and outcomes, including:

  • Change Yourself – Students will learn how to handle obstacles they may encounter during their life, as well as to define the qualities they hope to have as adults and to understand what it is that makes them special now.
  • Designing Your Future – Organizers want students to leave the camp with a clear vision of the kind of life they want for themselves. The teens will make a list of goals based on their passion and vision, then create a “blueprint” to reach those goals.
  • Change Your Community – Students will hear testimonials from young people who have made an impact on their own communities.

“We focus on the start of high school to empower youth and to give them a voice to change themselves, their community and their future,” says program director Talia Shani Kaufman.

WayUp Sacramento is an initiative launched in 2010 by Sacramento City Councilmember Jay Schenirer, who initially sought to make the Oak Park neighborhood a better and healthier place for youth and their families.

“The initiative is part of a larger piece of work about young people. It’s why I ran for City Council: to provide the support and possibilities young people need to be successful,” says Schenirer, whose Council District 5 includes parts of Oak Park, Curtis Park and south Sacramento.

WayUp Sacramento is affiliated with the South Sacramento Building Healthy Communities coalition and its program partners are the Youth Development Network and Sacramento City Unified School District.The students participating in the three-day camp will attend a SCUSD high school.

“A lot of people talk about young people being our future. When we talk about sustainability, we also have to think about our human resources, and that’s our young people,” Schenirer says.”

For more information about WayUp Sacramento, go to For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

– Dixie Reid