Team Oakland Member Stories

Team Oakland participants describe their Team Oakland experience and how it impacted their lives

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: January 20th, 2021 8:02 PM

Leo Theus

2010-2012 Team Member
2013-2014 Team Leader
2015 -present Counselor
I started working in the Team Oakland program the summer of my sophomore year of high school, and it was an amazing experience. Back then I didn't grasp what the program was teaching me, but now as a senior in college and working with the program for six years at various levels, I understand what this program is doing not just for me but for many other youth. Team Oakland taught me life skills on how to budget my money and how to plan for my future. This program taught me environmental skills like how to take care of my environment, the benefit of recycling, and the importance of my presence in the environment. Team Oakland taught me job skills such as preparing for an interview, how to dress appropriately, and how to keep a job. Lastly Team Oakland taught me to have pride in myself, my community, and what I do for my community. Even though we were just picking up trash and cleaning, we saw that we made a difference and the community really appreciated it.

Leroy Anderson

2015 – Team Leader
During summer 2015, I had the privilege to work for Team Oakland through Youth Employment Partnership (YEP). While working for YEP, I learned how to work in a professional environment. I learned how to communicate with diverse groups and with people of different backgrounds and personalities. I have always been able to build relationships but through Team Oakland I have learned how to maintain relationships through work ethics and just being myself. Team Oakland is a great opportunity just to be in a professional environment.

Chanfou Saelee
2015 – Team Leader
Working with youth, data collection and beautifying my neighborhood are the professional skills that I have learned from participating as a supervisor for Team Oakland. I have gained more experience in relating and connecting with communities of color through the program. Team Oakland has also taught me
how to record and input information for specific documents. Most all of, I got a chance give back and improve the community that I have grown up in.

Ada Chao
2014 – Team Leader
Team Oakland was more than just a summer job for me, it is a lifelong learning experience that has contributed to my success in the professional field. While participating in Team Oakland, I learned professionalism. Team Oakland held workshops that taught us how to dress for interviews and for the workplace. More importantly, I learned what to expect in interviews by participating in them directly as the interviewee and interviewer. I gained hands-on experience on how to answer and ask the questions.
Through Team Oakland, I also learned responsibility. I was a Team Leader and had to make sure I was on time to work to oversee a group of Team Members. I was accountable for my team's safety and completion of the job. Most importantly, I learned teamwork. At almost any professional job, it is important to have interpersonal skills because you will always be dealing with other people. Every day of Team Oakland consisted of the entire team working together to clean up a certain neighborhood so it was important for us to learn about one another's strengths and ideas. Overall, Team Oakland has contributed in my preparation for the professional field because it has given me exposure and important life skills.

Joshua Washington
2007-2009 Team Leader
2010 Counselor
Working for Team Oakland changed my life at the tender age of fourteen, as this was my very first job. With Team Oakland I learned how to work with others, learned the meaning of work ethics, and also the feeling of financial stability. This experience instilled in me the skills I needed to not only obtain but maintain a job moving forward into my future. This opportunity became my first step on the ladder of the workforce world; opening other doors as I reached maturity. I grew to love Team Oakland because at the end of the day, I realized that we were making a huge difference in our community, cleaning tons of litter off the streets of Oakland. Later, my Team Oakland experience, juxtaposed with my knowledge of the environment as a senior in high school, led to the opportunity to become a Team Leader of Team Oakland. Initially, it was rough supervising a group of ten or more members because I was held responsible for their safety while providing meaningful work experience while on routes (Foothill Team). Working with a variety of personalities from a group of teens equipped me with great leadership and safety skills. Not only did I get the opportunity to clean the environment, but I also had the chance to help other young men and women like myself grow to realize what a great difference they can make in life itself. I consider myself truly blessed to witness other teens’ transition into young adults. In essence, Team Oakland changed my life and the way I view the world, society, the environment, and communities for the better. My overall experience with Team Oakland has forever been engraved in my heart, mind, body, and soul.