Summer Interns Learn How to Engage Northeast L.A. Residents

The NELA River Collaborative project builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already underway to transform the Los Angeles River into a "riverfront district" and to create a focal point of community revitalization. For more information visit

KCET Departures is the media partner of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative.

On May 18, the Northeast Riverfront Collaborative partners USC Metamorphosis, KCET Departures, and L.A. River Revitalization Corportation held a training session for current and recently graduated college students, who will serve as a summer intern cohort that will assist with the collaborative's civic engagement activities. These include outreach-based research, local media production, and community events. The intern cohort of 16 come from local colleges, including Occidental College, CSU Long Beach, CSU San Bernadino, CSU Pomona, Claremont College, USC, UCLA, and as far away as UC Berkeley, Oregon State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Sciences Po Lyon in France.

The training prepared the interns to administer face-to-face resident and small business surveys that will send them knocking on doors, visiting small business along the main street corridors, and attending community events in the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Elysian Valley, and Lincoln Heights. The goal of the surveys is to engage residents and small business owners and assess the business climate within the Northeast L.A. study area.

The interns were also trained in media production practices, which will engage the interns in reporting about their experience. They will also participate in media monitoring research that will examine local storytelling platforms and practice, which will be used to evaluate strategies to assist the sustainment of local media production.

Lastly, the interns will assist the collaborative in the coordination of summer policy engagement events that will explore the areas of placemaking, food systems, workforce development and jobs, planning and mobility, and sustainable economic development. Stay tuned for more information about these events at

The interns start hitting the pavement June 1. So if you live or own a small business in the Northeast L.A. study area neighborhoods, be sure to be on the lookout for the interns in blue NELA RC shirts and take one of the surveys!

Interns will examine local storytelling platforms and practice

The training prepared the interns to administer face-to-face surveys

Justin Cram from NELA RC partner KCET Departures presented a workshop on local media and social media strategies for summer intern experience


About the Author

George Villanueva, Ph.D. is a native Angeleno born and raised in the intersecting spaces of East Hollywood, Koreatown, and the Temple-Beverly corridor (now Historic Filipinotown).
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