LI Graduate of the Week Jake Frank: No Ordinary High School Student

Jake Frank is no ordinary high school student. Along with his busy schedule of class, studying, and extracircular activities, Jake interns for Assemblyman Paul Cook (CA-65).

Jake attends Yucca Valley High School where he is active in the Leadership (ASB) class. Through this class he met Mariya Swella, sister to Meghan Swella, LI's Youth Leadership School Coordinator.

Mariya encouraged Jake to attend LI’s Youth Leadership School (YLS), and he did in September 2010 when the YLS came to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“The training I received at the Youth Leadership School taught me how to run youth-oriented campaigns on college campuses. I applied a scaled-down version of the election strategies to my school elections.  The Youth Leadership School gave me an insight into politics that most 17-year olds do not understand, allowing me an advantage,” Jake said.

After LI training, Jake decided he wanted to increase his political activism.

“After attending [the YLS], I resolved to become more involved in government," Jake said. "I began asking various people I knew who were already involved where I should start.  From there I received an application from Assemblyman Cook’s Field Representative Dawn Rowe and applied for the internship."

The YLS “taught me different ways of looking at problems, helping me become more creative when it comes to getting my foot in the door," Jake explained. "I have applied the techniques I was taught to write my intern application and to fulfill reports.”

As an intern, Jake is responsible for representing and staffing the assemblyman at community events.

“The tasks I am called on to complete usually take place around the community here in California’s Morongo Basin," Jake said. "Most of my projects have been public-appearance oriented. When the assemblymen and his field representative cannot be present at a function in our area I am called on to attend.”

If you would like to learn how to be an effective youth activist like Jake, please contact YLS Coordinator Meghan Swella at  Also visit LI’s training schedule to know when LI training is coming to your area.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the weke, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at