County of Marin - News Releases - Career Explorers

For Immediate Release
August 10, 2018

Youth Employment Program Brightens Futures

Innovative internship program partners young people with public service jobs

San Rafael, CA – Benjamin Magaña heard about the County of Marin’s Career Explorer Youth Program through the nonprofit Canal Alliance and thought it might be an interesting way to spend the summer.

The 2018 class of Marin County Career Explorers and the program mentors pose at the graduation ceremony.The Marin County Career Explorer graduates show off their certificates alongside the program mentors on August 10, 2018.
By the time the paid internship ended August 10, the 17-year-old Redwood High student had developed a new career goal: to become a juvenile probation officer. He had impressed the program organizers so much that he was selected as the recipient of the Dan Daniels Spirit of Service Award, given to the participant who demonstrates passion in serving clients, co-workers and community partners while stating a goal of eventually becoming a full-fledged County of Marin employee.

Magaña, a Corte Madera resident, was one of 19 interns between ages 16 and 22 who participated in the third year of the Career Explorers, a program coordinated and funded by the Marin County Probation Department. The interns were exposed to a wide variety of jobs within the County and in some cases found a new path as they prepare for wage-earning adulthood.

Dan Daniels (left) presents an award to Benjamin Magana (right).Benjamin Magaña (right) speaks during the Career Explorers graduation ceremony after receiving the Dan Daniels Spirit of Service Award from longtime intern mentor Dan Daniels (left).
During his internship, Magaña witnessed almost all facets of day-to-day operations in Probation, including a weaponless defense class, required case documentation, technical tools, and human resources.   

“It was an amazing learning experience and the staff was incredible,” he said. “I learned so much that I had no idea about when it comes to how the Marin County government works – how everything comes together locally. I got a chance to see Probation from a side I’ve never seen before.”

The following interns enjoyed a graduation ceremony on August 10 in the Marin County Board of Supervisors chamber at the Civic Center in San Rafael: Magaña, Maria Burton-Conte, Selena Chavez, Kimberly Elizondo, Olivier Fonseca, Rocio Gonzalez, James Jacobo, Yesenia Jimenez, Jayden Mauer, Francesca McLaughlin, Damien Moreno, Kevin Ochoa, Magdalena Ramirez, Nick Saloma, Adrian Shavers, Malaha Smith, Mohammed Yacoobili, and Burak Yildiz.

“We know it was a rewarding experience for them because they’ve told us, but it is also rewarding for the County employees who hosted these young people,” said Probation Chief Mike Daly. “We are not only assisting the interns by offering them a glimpse of real-world government in action, but we’re potentially grooming our own future employees. We like to think of it that way and we hope that’s what happens in the long run.”

The Probation Department operated the annual program in partnership with Human Resources and Health and Human Services’ Employment and Training branch. This year, the intern hosting departments were Probation, Health and Human Services, Fire, Parks, Public Works, County Counsel, Sheriff’s Office, Human Resources, Marin County Free Library, the County’s Administrator’s Office, and the office of District 4 Supervisor Dennis Rodoni. The Marin Housing Authority also participated in the program.

The program’s main goal is to provide work readiness skills to young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage in career exploration. It is accomplished through a combination of intensive workshops, networking with professionals in various fields with local government, and the internship.

Career Explorers also aligns with the goals of the County’s 5-Year Business Plan to create an inclusive organization with diversity at all levels of the organization, develop a world-class internship program, and increase employment opportunities for people with lived experiences. Members of the County’s affinity groups for employees of African American, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander descent provided the interns insight on their own career journeys and what their day-to-day routines entail. Employees with disabilities also shared experiences.

In June, the County conducted an application, recruitment and screening process followed by a two-week training program. The students learned to dress and present themselves professionally, network, speak publicly, be interviewed, start a resume, and create a vision for a future career path. The students participated in a formal interview and selection process after the training and were placed in various County departments. Throughout the summer, the interns participated in discussions with guest speakers from organizations including Google X, Marin TV, Women in Leadership, and several County departments.

The Probation Department used funds from a state grant to cover the costs of intern stipends, work uniforms, food, transportation and supervision.

To learn more about the program, contact Luis Luciano at


Michael Daly
Chief Probation Officer
Probation Department

3501 Civic Center Dr.
Suite 259
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6602
Email: Michael Daly
Probation website