By Rina DeFrancesco ’17
It’s never too early to begin thinking about opportunities for the upcoming summer. After the school year comes to an end, many students are faced with nothing to do over the two months they are free.
A popular choice is employment over the summer. The Summer Youth Employment program is run by the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development that offers jobs to youths who would otherwise be too young to be employed. Applications open in March and are accepted until April. The only requirements are that applicants are from the ages of 14 to 24, live in any of the five boroughs of New York City, and are legally allowed to work. The program offers many opportunities in different areas of interest and accepts a good amount of their applicants.
“SYEP arranged for me to work at T.J.Maxx over the summer. The entire experience taught me about responsibility and helped me develop my social skills. It taught me about how to work with other people when the work is serious,” said Daniela Galsurkar, ’17.
SYEP works to accommodate for a youth’s schedule. According to Galsurkar, she was required to work twenty five hours a week but added that other students who had summer school were allowed to have a different schedule.
Another form of employment could come from family and friend connections.
Nina Zadushlivy ’17 said, “My cousin owns a pharmacy in the Upper West Side and lets me work there over the summer. It taught me a lot about hard work and responsibility.”
It is understandable that many people may not have these connections, though. Fortunately, many employers start hiring youths at the age of sixteen. Such employers include many retail workplaces and fast food establishments, such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and American Eagle Outfitters.
Another amazing opportunity over the summer is traveling.
“I went to visit my family in Egypt over this past summer. It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had,” said Salma Ali ’17.
Besides family, there are other programs that offer opportunities in which students can travel. Some examples are Walking Tree Travel and Global Leadership Adventures (GLA). Both have the main goal of trying to open youths up to the world around them.
Summer is also a good time to find working opportunities that will prepare you for a future career. Students going into their senior year of high school may find difficulty in deciding what they would like to pursue in the future when they attend college. Opportunities in the summer can help build knowledge of careers and what they may be like.
“Over the summer, I worked with my best friend at her aunt’s vascular surgical office. We were shown to the difficulties of being involved in this type of work but also how everything works in this field. We were kind of like medical assistants. Before working there, I didn’t know if being involved in the medical work was right for me. This pushed me to realize how much I loved it, and made me feel more secure about my plans for the future,” said Melissa Bicic ’16. “I recommend finding jobs that give you good working experience,” she added.
This also includes classes that are available over the summer. As a partner of Brooklyn College, students are able to take classes for college credit through the College Now program. The program offers a wide variety of classes for students to choose from.
“I took a biology class through the College Now program over the summer. It gave me a really big interest in marine biology,” said Melissa Gallo ’16.
Summer is a great time to explore and figure out what you love. Make sure to use it to your benefit and you’ll be grateful for this time.