Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Students meet and match up with their mentors for some one on on discussion

by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 03/2008

The District 7 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office hosted 22 students at the 2008 Arroyo Seco Academy Mentor Match-up and Job Shadow Day at the District Office on February 13.

These high school juniors attend Benjamin Franklin High School Arroyo Seco Academy (previously the Franklin Transportation Academy), where over 200 more students await a mentor.  With a current enrollment of 2,600 students, 252 are part of this academy, a three-year state-funded program designed to reach students who have shown an interest in technology and transportation. Those who joined Caltrans mentors on this day, knew that it would be a great field-trip and a free trip on the Metro Rail and bus system into downtown, who sponsored the group’s commute for the day.  The Academy connects curriculum to the workplace to provide the students with a personal school within a school setting.

This year, the Caltrans mentors gave the students a hands-on agenda that focused on the Design’s Division Computer Assisted Drafting and Design (CADD) system, Information Technology hosted a Geographic Information System (GIS) workshop and the Operations Division demonstrated its real-time Adaptive Signal Project on Pacific Coast Highway.     

The students had lunch with their Caltrans mentors to learn about their jobs. The District 7 mentors involved in this program are: Dawn Helou, Judy Pouncy, Michael C. Lum, Mike Dean, Paula Durham, Eric D. Chau, Mirna Dagher, Dina El-Tawansy, Maria D. Rodriguez, Rashid Ansarie, Khanh Q. Nguyen, Marcia Graves, Ada Osoy, Shahriar Yadegari, Shimelis Amare, Marco Ruano, Will Carpio, Arian Abrishami, Refugio Dominguez and Tirist Kebede.

The Arroyo Seco Academy is a well-established program that is involved in community events and field trips in the Los Angeles area to integrate college preparatory academics, career and technical education, strong community partnerships with the real workplace. The Academy prepares students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in careers in urban planning, mass transit, international trade and shipping, engineering, construction and architecture.

More Caltrans mentors are needed next year.  If you are interested in participating for this half-day program, please contact James Deno, EEO, at 213-897-0797.

Everyone, including Caltrans staff, enjoyed watching cameras on Pacific Coast Highway showing real-time movement and signaling operations Mike Dean, senior transportation surveyor, facilitated the Geographic Information System (GIS) that Caltrans uses for accurate mapping and tracking Using the CADD system, student drew ot street intersections, parallels, added symbology and constructed a circular fillet The Job Shadow-ers from Franklin High School Arroyo Seco Academy