County Celebrates its Career Explorers


In County of Marin Newsroom

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Probation Department is celebrating with a variety of County of Marin departments about a record-breaking summer paid internship graduation that exposed young people between the ages of 15 and 22 to careers in public service. 

Following an eight-week vocation skills program, 48 young people completed the Career Explorers experience with a festive gathering August 2 in the Marin County Civic Center’s Board of Supervisors chamber. A video summarizing the experience made its debut at the event.

Probation Chief Marlon Washington, whose department has coordinated the program for eight years, welcomed the graduates and their supporters and issued certificates of completion to the interns.

“The fact that our program doubled in size this year is a testament to recruitment and our youth being eager to learn about noble public service,” Washington said. “We received 135 applications this spring, a clear sign that youth want to learn about professions within our County government. The Explorers’ successes validate the efforts of everyone involved.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Shani Shay, founder and director of Incarceration to College, a program of the University of California at Berkeley’s Underground Scholars Initiative. Wambua Misyoki, 18, from Mill Valley was the 2023 recipient of the Dan Daniels Spirit of Service Award.

A key objective of the Career Explorers program is to provide opportunities to local youth who are exposed to circumstances that traditionally present barriers to employment. Those may include personal experiences with the juvenile justice system, family members with experience in either the juvenile or adult justice systems, or residents of neighborhoods impacted by crime or other socioeconomic issues.   The internships, which paid $17.50 per hour this year, are designed for those curious about careers in public service and a chance to gain exclusive experience within County of Marin departments.

Career Explorers was borne from the County’s long-range plan to improve diversity, inclusion, growth, and development within its own workforce while enhancing community education about what the local government does for constituents. The program’s first phase is a two-week orientation that educates the participants about job readiness, resume writing, interview preparation, financial literacy, public speaking, and college preparation. Additionally, the orientation hosted three guest speaker series featuring county and state employees which exposed the interns to various public service professions. 

The Career Explorer Program creates a diverse, skilled, and local candidate pool for employment opportunities in a manner that promotes growth and development. The Probation Department collaborates with the County’s Department of Human Resources and other County departments, and local community partners to offer this unique program.

Applications for the 2024 Career Explorer program will be opened in March, and the program is slated to begin in June. To learn more, call (415) 473-6676.