By Matthew Yan ’17 and Shohrukh Abdulloev ’17
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is a government funded program to help teenagers and young adults to get a job during the summer allowing them to work in a friendly and supportive environment.
The N.Y.C. government allows applicants between ages of 14 through 24 to apply for an application to be filled out online. This application has a deadline so it is necessary for the application to be filled out early.
To get into the SYEP, a lottery is conducted by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). You can only fill out one application per year. Random applications will be selected, and if your application is selected you will be contacted immediately. There are multiple rounds for the lottery, so there will be a greater chance to get into the program if you weren’t selected in the first round. The DYCD will stop conducting lotteries when all positions from the work places are taken.
Participant is contacted by a phone call or an email, if accepted to the program. It’s important to check your email every day because if you get in, you’ll only have about a week to contact them, about accepting the offer. If you do not contact them within these days you’ll most likely lose your position.
Upon your acceptance, there is a required document checklist showing all the required things that are needed to show when you contact your SYEP provider. The proof of age, employment authorization, identity, social security number, citizenship, family income is needed. Working papers are also necessary to be fully accepted into the program. Things like a student ID, school transcript, birth certificate, or a passport can be brought.
The SYEP providers offer many jobs and opportunities, such as tutoring kids (usually ages of five through eight), working at a camp, being able to work at business or medical offices, retailing at stores, and even hospitals. This working experience can help teens find their work interests and benefit them with their resume.
“Through the Summer Youth Employment Program it gave me experience on how it’s really like to tutor kids, it gave me a thought if I should become a teacher” said Cathy See ’17
According to kidshealth.org, students who work learn many valuable habits such as time-management, working collaboratively, and following directions. Also, students who work earlier in their lives have a higher chance of being employed later on.
Working is a difficult and stressful task, especially for teens. However, it is important to learn to handle challenges, and strive to do better.
Mahmoud Abouelkheir ’17 said, “After spending two months working in an office, I learned the importance of punctuality and communication in the workspace.The working experience was definitely something I will remember my entire life.”
The employees earn around nine dollars an hour since the minimum wage has increased. The government limits employees to work 25 hours maximum a week. The money earned by workers can be put in two ways, being directly deposit to your bank with no fees or get a payroll card which gets added every payday. Money can be taken out at ATMS and banks but there will be a fee.
“The SYEP is an easy way to earn money during the summer, it was an easy going job” said Jason Lam ’17
As teens earns money, they have the choice of what to do with their money. This helps with their money management and may even limit their spending. As they live from paycheck to paycheck, they also learn how to spend their money, and also learn the consequences if they run out of money before their next payday.
Working teaches responsibility. A person who has worked hard for their money rather than getting money from parents tend to spend less on unnecessary items.
“The SYEP is an easy way to earn money during the summer, it was an easy getting a job” said Jason Lam ’17
Whatever you do, whether it’s volunteering or working in an office, showing that you are active is a quality that colleges seek. There are no disadvantages of working over the summer break, so why not do something useful this break? Seize your opportunity, because most don’t come twice.