UCLA-Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program – Young Workers Project
Salary: Around $35,000 annually.
My Organization: The LOSH Young Workers Project was established in 1996, with the goals of raising awareness of workplace health and safety among youth through classroom training and cultivating young leaders who can spread the word through their communities. Today, the project reaches youth statewide by co-sponsoring annual three-day training academies on workplace safety. Within these academies, six teams of four youths each develop team projects with an adult sponsor, and these projects then reach thousands of youth and adults during California’s Safe Jobs for Youth month in May.
My Job: Morales is responsible for organizing and leading the training sessions at these three-day leadership academies. She also works to create partnerships between LOSH projects and educational institutions or other youth and community organizations.
“This year, I created internships for UCLA undergraduate students by partnering with UCLA professors,” Morales said, citing one example of a community partnership. “Interns have been placed with local L.A. high school youth to work on [the youths’] team project – developing a [Japanese genre] manga comic book on child labor.”
How I Got Here: Morales received her bachelor’s degree in intensive psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. While an undergraduate, she participated in a family mentoring program serving first-generation college students. After college, she spent a year volunteering through AmeriCorps VISTA with the National Farm Workers Service Center in Arizona, where she implemented an after-school program.
Best Part of My Job: “Working with youth and adults in different settings,” Morales said. “Raising awareness of youths’ rights and responsibilities as workers is a task that involves creativity, constant change, and insight from youth and adults on the best strategies to collaborate, inspire and share.”
Worst Part of My Job: “As a nonprofit organization, there can be limitations,” Morales said. “I am the only full-time staff member for this project, and wish I could do more.
“Also when mobilizing youth, they can only go by foot. Most don’t have a car, and in Los Angeles this is crucial. If we could only have a youth van,” she said.
Most Memorable Moment: “I recently helped a youth member with her scholarship [application] for attending the Summer Institute for Union Women conference, and she was accepted! She called me with such excitement and disbelief and thanked me. I knew this was a great opportunity for her where she can further develop her leadership skills within the labor movement, and I was just as excited and happy as she was,” Morales said.