Yasmin Oliver considers herself an activist. She wants to be able to bring change. The 16 year-old has hopes of pursuing a law degree and to get experience, Oliver interned at the City of Dallas this summer. She learned first hand the ins and outs of city government while interning at the Intergovernmental office.
Oliver was one of more than 300 scholars selected throughout the metroplex for the Dallas Mayors Intern Fellows program.
“My internship has been vastly different then the movies portray, where the interns just get coffee,” said Oliver.
A junior at Uplift Luna Preparatory in Deep Ellum, Oliver made the most of her time at city hall. She sat in meetings where governmental jargon kept her on her feet and would write down the terms she was not familiar with, so she could look them up to become more knowledgeable.
“It has been a great networking and learning opportunity. I hope to come back next summer,” she said.
Oliver was one of several students in the program that was impacted by the tragic events of July 7 where five officers were killed. The junior’s department was in charge of coordinating with the White House and the Mayor’s office to organize the memorial for the fallen officers. Oliver said it allowed her to see a different side of governmental affairs.
“I was able to see how government officials act during a public meeting and at a time of crisis,” said Oliver.
The tragedy of July 7 made for long nights and teamwork to pull off a memorial that gained national attention. Oliver along with City of Dallas employees, council members attended the memorial at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The 16 year-old never thought she would be able to see two presidents in her life time.
“It was surreal and impressive to see everyone come together,” said Oliver.
The junior also saw herself in a different light. Oliver is accustom to supporting causes via social media but this time she found her actions made a bigger impact.
“It impacted me greatly because I was able to give input to help support the Dallas Police Department and their loss,” said Oliver.
Oliver found the internship not just an opportunity to gain experience but to make lifelong connections. Her supervisor encouraged Oliver to use her as a reference and offered to become her mentor.
“She told me she wants me to succeed and is willing to help me get to where I want to be,” said Oliver.
She commends the Uplift Luna Road To College counselors for providing her with the skills to ace her interview.
“Getting this kind of experience is a vital component to what I’m going to be in the future,” said Oliver.