Every summer the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office invites talented high school student leaders to intern at their offices as part of a program called the District Attorney’s Justice Academy (DAJA). Students can intern with a local government agency, non-profit organization, office of an elected official, or private law office over the summer.
However, the students’ work starts before summer even begins. Starting in January, these students attend justice seminars twice a month which are led by legal experts in the field.
Of the 500 applicants from all over Alameda county this year, only 28 were selected, four of these students hailing from CVHS. Junior Sarah Nossier is one of these interns and said, “I feel honored to have been selected for the program. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Besides gaining experience in the legal field, the program pays the interns for their work, “which is a definite perk,” Nossier added.
The goal of the program is to prepare students for a possible career in the fields of law, social justice, or the courts.
“It teaches the fundamentals and basics of law and gives you the introduction you need for a law career,” said program participant Mahdi Fugfugosh.
At the conclusion of the program at the end of the summer, students are required to give a persuasive oral presentation arguing a point they have learned about during their seminars and internships.
Fugfugosh said that he’s enjoyed the program so far because, “We get to meet new people and discuss different topics each time we meet.”
According to DAJA’s website, “This Academy teaches teens about the many facets of the justice system while encouraging critical thought and civic engagement.”