Summer Opportunities Foster Student Growth

By Alexa Delacruz ’19

Summer is fast approaching, and the college process is right around the corner for many juniors. A new semester calls for seeking out opportunities such as internships, which may tremendously help advance students on their journey to success, both in college and the working world.

Many summer internship programs are offered in New York City, and some even pay their interns. These programs can provide experience in specific fields in which students may want to pursue a career in, later on, after their college career. It also allows them to acquire many useful skills and work experience, which is very desirable on any application.

Teen Career Connection at the West Side YMCA is one of several popular summer internship programs. It offers intensive professional development and a hands-on learning experience that parallels the intern’s potenital career. This helps prepare the students picked for the internship, for the professional workplace. This program takes place from July 9 to August 17, and during those six weeks 40 teen interns will be learning and working with organizations involved in their desired careers. The interns will also be working with a mentor, offering them a strong support system to help them network and thrive during the internship itself.

“I enjoyed being a part of Teen Career Connection because it teaches you a lot of lessons about the work field, and helps you understand time management and also being committed to your work,” said Ikra Islam ’19.

A $1,500 stipend is awarded to students who complete the internship, to compensate them for their hard work.

Any NYC high school student no older than 19 is eligible to apply, and the deadline for the application is at March 12 at 11:59 PM. To apply, visit The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is another popular summer program for many NYC youth between the ages of ages 14 to 24 who are looking for paid opportunities.

The program is free to apply to, and provides paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. Participants are offered work in entry-level jobs from a variety of different careers around different locations throughout all five boroughs. SYEP also provides workshops on career readiness, as well as exploration of a range of careers. Workshops are also available for money management, and opportunities are given to continuously grow socially and academically.

“My experience with SYEP was really good because my coworkers were really nice and I had a lot of fun,” said Dilara Khusainova ’19, an SYEP participant from last summer. “My job taught me a lot about the food industry and I feel like I gained a lot of important skills, such as how to be patient with different types of people and how to spend my money accordingly and not all at once.”

SYEP is selected by lottery, so placement is not guaranteed. The application process begins February 5 and the deadline is March 16, 2018. You can apply at

The Ladders for Leaders program also offers high school and college students paid professional summer internships with various organizations, corporations, and agencies in NYC. Similar to SYEP, Ladders for Leaders gives students opportunities to explore and discover careers through a variety of industries to accommodate student interests. They also provide pre-employment training to receive help with essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette. Their requirements include outstanding academic performance, an essay, and a resume. If one is selected, 30 hours of pre-employment training is required and interviews are held so the employers make the final decisions. Selected interns will participate in a six week paid internship and gain experience in a specific work field. Before applying you must first fill out an SYEP application, and then fill out the Ladders for Leaders application. The deadline to apply is March 16, 2018.

“Students can get hands-on experience, and learn from or get an idea of something they may want to study by going through the experience of an internship, which can lead to future jobs,” said Ms. Jodi Millman, guidance counselor. “Internships also look
really good for a college resume, since you can let colleges know you were involved in this opportunity and it’ll help you stand out.”
Students can explore online and around their neighborhood to find internships, and other work opportunities, such as volunteering. There are options around school and students’ communities to volunteer at local organizations, like animal shelters. Even though volunteering isn’t a paying job or internship, there are still many chances to develop skills in a specific field.

Ever wanted to work at a museum? The Saltz Internship Program at the American Museum of Natural History is an intensive learning and paid work experience related to life sciences, astronomy, as well as other earth and planetary sciences. Participating in the Saltz Internship Program gives students the opportunity to explore various fields of scientific and obtain valuable skills from working with and teaching learners of all ages. Interns get to learn how to use equipment and technologies around different parts of the museum such as the Hall of the Universe and Hall of Ocean Life to guide visitors of all ages in investigations of artifacts, specimens, and the laws of physics. The programs runs from July 2 to August 19, where interns complete 144 hours of work throughout the course of five weeks. The summer application process is open until March 18 and you must be a 15 year or older NYC high school student for eligibility. To apply, visit

“At my first summer job I was a third grade teacher assistant, teaching science and math. Being a teacher assistant allowed me to become more patient with kids,” said Joyce Chen ’18. “For my second summer job opportunity I worked at a corporate law firm, and from that I learned how to write invoices for clients and witness the daily lifestyle of lawyers.”
There are tons of other summer opportunities out there aside from the ones listed here. The college office (located in room 445) sends information about internships and summer employment to guidance counselors, which is then forwarded to students via email. The college office also provides information on specific college questions, and resources for scholarships and the entire college process. Their information can be very helpful in guiding students for college based on their future career goals.

“Colleges want to see students who are well rounded, with a good GPA, SAT or ACT score and extracurriculars, such as internships,” said Ms. Stephanie Gluck, the new college advisor. “Internships help with your college resume and essay, especially in competitive colleges where they want to see students who are very involved.”

Deadlines for many of these programs are approaching soon, so now is the time to start considering career options, and seek programs to apply to based on your interests. Internships not only provide experience and skills, but they also look really good for college and help students stand out in their college essays and resumes. Applying for
these programs can give you a jumpstart in learning the valuable skills desired both in college and the workplace.

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