Summer 2023 Fellows: Noelle Villanueva ’25

Office Description

Established in the 1940s, the City of San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department the department has provided traditional parks and recreation services for more than 75 years. Over time, it has grown to include nontraditional activities such as senior nutrition and transportation services; preschool and afterschool programs; and gang reduction, intervention, and prevention. The department’s mission is to build healthy communities through people, parks and programs. Its vision is to be a national leader of parks and recreation in cultivating healthy communities through quality programs and dynamic public spaces. To do so, it is guided by the principles of accessibility, inclusiveness, affordability, equity, diversity, sustainability, and flexibility. At a national level, parks and recreation professionals are guided by 3 pillars: conservation, health and wellness, and social equity. The department strives to build community through fun, and make and activate quality places in San Jose where people want to live, work, play, and learn. Specifically, the department acquires, constructs, operates, and maintains parkland in 200 neighborhood parks, 9 regional parks, 3 public golf courses, and a host of unique facilities; provides recreational and community programs for youth, teens, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities by operating and partnering to run 50 community centers; and provides gang prevention and intervention services through the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.

Description of the Work

One fellow will be placed in the Strategic Partnerships Unit, the work team that manages the funding arm of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force. The fellow will work with analysts to support the Safe Summer Initiative (SSIG) Grant program. During the fellowship, the fellow will:

  • Support the Strategic Partnerships Unit in the contract development of SSIG contracts
  • Conduct SSIG site visits including creating write-ups on the visits and following up with grantees;
  • Participate in Division and leadership meetings.

One fellow will assist the Citywide sports team with various analysis projects that center around equity. This will involve gathering data from Park Condition Assessment scores (PCA), census data, and data from the Healthy Places Index (HPI) and CalEnviro Screen. The fellow will assist in creating dashboards and other visualization tools to present their findings. The fellow will attend meetings via Zoom or in person as required work closely with our Park Managers, Division Managers, and will report directly to the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Supervisors.

Desired Skills

Experience with data analysis encouraged, general grasp of equity concepts, basic use of Microsoft applications.

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