Erik S,

Q: Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?

I have been interested in youth development since I started working with young people on the West Side of Saint Paul through Americorps.  I got started by working with urban gardening and leadership project called Youth Farm and other neighborhood-based learning opportunities on the West Side.  I really enjoyed building relationships with young people and hearing about what interested and motivating them.  I found that supporting their interests and passions was very fun and rewarding.


Q: How does this position you support the mission of the City of Saint Paul/SPPL?

This position will help build a City that works – for everyone – by ensuring that young people have voice and agency as policy decisions are made in the City. SPPL’s mission is “We welcome all people to connect, learn, discover and grow.”  This position will be a tremendous opportunity to invite youth in Saint Paul to connect, learn, discover and grow by involving them in Saint Paul’s Boards and Commissions.


Q: What kind of impact will this position have on the community?

This position can have a large impact on Saint Paul.  The Youth on Boards initiative will empower young people by utilizing their creative thinking and energy to improve the decision making of Saint Paul’s boards and commissions. Youth on Board will also diversify Saint Paul’s Boards and Commissions and bring important perspective to the issues facing our City. Finally, this position will help develop young leaders who will contribute to our City and our democracy throughout their lives.

Q: What skills or abilities are essential to being successful in this position?

The ability to build relationships and work effectively in a team are essential for this position.  Building relationships is central to youth development and engagement and this position will work with a lot of different people and departments throughout the City making working in a team an essential skill. 


Q: What tools or resources does the City/SPPL provide to be productive and effective in this position?

One unique aspect of this is position is its collaborative nature.  The Youth on Boards initiative is a collaborative effort between Sprockets, the Mayor’s Office, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, and Saint Paul Public Libraries.  This position will be able draw on the talents and resources from all these departments to be productive and successful. 


Q: What do you enjoy most about working for the City of Saint Paul/SPPL?

The thing I enjoy most about working for the City and SPPL is working with a large group of caring colleagues who are all trying to improve the place where I and my family live.  I appreciate the opportunity to do meaningful work with talented people. 


Q: When was the last time someone sincerely thanked you for just doing your job? What did you do for them?

Last summer I helped to supervise a group of 10 young people who were working on communications projects for the City.  It was a great opportunity to get know a new group of young people many of whom were graduating high school and transitioning to college.  At the end of the summer many of them expressed their gratitude and talked about things that they learned that would help them in the future. 



Last Edited: March 2, 2021