By Matthew Yan ’17 and Jude Evangelista ’17
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides jobs for teens over the summer, allowing them to gain work experience and important life skills in the workforce.
The New York City government requires that youth’s must be between the ages of 14 through 24 and an application to be filled out online and sent to a SYEP provider before a deadline in order to participate for the program. Additionally, it is required for applicants to have their working papers. The deadline is yet to be determined, but in the past has been during the last few months of school, before summer vacation.
Even if all the requirements are met, it is left to the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to conduct a lottery with all of the applications that are completed. The lottery is used to determine whether or not the applicants are offered the job.
The SYEP provider will contact the participant either with a phone call or an email if accepted to the program. Furthermore, a document is required to be completely enrolled for the SYEP job.
SYEP participants can work a maximum of 25 hours per week, earning $8.75 an hour. Money earned by the participant will be deposited into an SYEP debit card or a personal bank account.
The New York City government provides funds for the program. They compensate SYEP participants and provides a safe and comfortable environment to work in.
“It was a fun experience working with the staff of the organization and the kids,” said Harry Ching ’17. “It gave me an idea what responsibility was like to ensure that the kids I worked with were safe.”
SYEP offers many different types of work in a variety of locations such as in hospitals, supervising kids while camping, working at nonprofit agencies, and at tutoring centers. The program is also lenient with the teens they give jobs to. Teens in summer school are able to adjust their work schedule to accommodate for things such as summer school. They also let workers switch positions if they aren’t comfortable with the one they have.
“When I was informed that I was accepted to the SYEP, I noticed I didn’t get the job position I wanted,” said Jason Lam ’17. “Even though I wasn’t able to get the job I wanted, there were many other jobs to choose from.”
SYEP provides a safe and growing environment where participants grow socially in addition to educationally. It is a highly recommended program and it is a great way to experience what an adult’s job is.
“SYEP allowed me to make new friends and provided me with the opportunity to experience what it is like to have a job.” said Timothy Wong ’17.
Those who participate in SYEP are allowed to apply to the Work, Learn and Grow Employment Program. Students currently enrolled in school from the ages of 14 through 24 are allowed to participate in the program. Instead of working a maximum of 25 hours, students can work from 6 to 10 hours each week for up to 25 weeks from October to April, earning $8.75 an hour.
Oscar Villalva ’16 contributed to this article.