Youth Development


Our Youth Development initiative creates opportunities for Richmond teens and young adults to gain work-place readiness skills and participate in the revitalization of their Downtown through valuable hands-on experiences.

*COVID19 Update*

Due to the COVID19 pandemic and in order to ensure the health and safety of our communitywe have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our participation as a host site for youth intern programs. We hope to resume our partnership with work-based learning programs in 2021.

Pilot Programs

Youth Media Crew

In 2019, we extended the work of our Youth Committee by creating an opportunity for our young people to participate in a media storytelling project. The result: Downtown (Re)Discovered, a 3-part youth-driven and youth-created documentary, exploring the history of Downtown Richmond and envisioning its future through the perspective of residents, businesses, and places. The crew–Imani Jones, Ryan Saechao, Marlon Ixtabalan, with guidance from Mark Lampkin, media producer–engaged in an intensive creative process, storyboarding, interviewing, and editing. The film was premiered at a special event in February 2020. This project was coordinated by Richmond Main Street, with generous financial support from Richmond ECIA Grant Program and was produced at the CoBiz Richmond Creative Studio.


Youth Committee

In 2018, and with generous support from Richmond ECIA Grant Program, we formed our first Youth Committee, which aimed to expand our commitment and efforts to ensure that stakeholder and decision-making bodies are diverse, reflective of the community, and inclusive of the youth perspective; increase economic and social assets of the community; and provide leadership, work, and communication development opportunities to Richmond residents.

Our Youth Committee members were a diverse group of 12 high school students and young adults, who worked together for 8 months, dedicating their time, efforts, and expertise to work on a variety of projects including: planning, promoting, and staffing Healthy Village Festival and Spirit & Soul Festival, designing and leading Youth Entrepreneur Day, and lending their expert voices to our Main Street Approach.

Work-Based Learning Partnerships

Richmond Main Street ha partnerships with a variety of groups dedicated to expanding work-based learning opportunities for local youth. We are proud to participate in the success of these programs and provide hands-on learning experiences for the participants. Here are a few examples:

Richmond Public Health Solutions

Since 2015 RMSI has served as a host site for Richmond Public Health Solutions interns. To date, our office has hosted 5 high school student interns working on projects to further access to health resources and activities in Downtown Richmond.

WCCUSD Summer Intern Program

In the summer of 2018 Richmond Main Street served as a worksite for the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Summer Intern Program. This student intern was a valuable addition to our team, assisting our organization with special digital media projects.


In 2016, RMSI served as the client for Y-PLAN projects at Kennedy High School (Technology Academy) and DeAnza High School (Health Academy). RMSI staff continue to support Y-PLAN cohorts by hosting Downtown tours, providing resources, and informative experiences to students.

Youth Entrepreneur Day

On April 24, 2016, we partnered with Junior Achievement to host a one-day learning opportunity for Richmond high school students. At Youth Entrepreneur Day, 40 students teamed up with mentors from our local business community to develop innovative, youth-serving business solutions for Downtown Richmond. After just a few hours of rapid business plan development, each group pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. The event also featured a moving motivational keynote speak by Devin Lars. We are actively seeking funding to develop one of the winning proposals and host more Youth Entrepreneur Day events.

Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program

From 2008-2015, Richmond Main Street proudly partnered with Richmond YouthWORKS to conduct the Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program (SYEP), a five-week work readiness training and employment program. Our program served 10-15 Richmond youth, ages 16-22, and provided work readiness training, entrepreneurialism activities, and summer employment at local businesses. For many participants SYEP was a valuable experience and unique opportunity to develop communication and professionalism skills, as well as a knowledge of workplace, retail, and business principles.
The Impact of SYEP Our Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program served over 100 Richmond youth and young adults, many from low-income households. Each year, cohorts of 10-15 students participated in a specialized two-week training program focusing on worksite readiness skill building and an introduction to entrepreneurialism concepts, following by worksite placement at Downtown business and TJ Maxx. Upon completion of the program, many participants continued their education and/or entered the workforce, some in permanent employee positions at their worksites.
“I really enjoyed the training…I woke up every day excited to come here.”

“I enjoyed the entrepreneur partner part because it was the most challenging.”

Interested in learning more or getting involved?

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