Finding a summer job is never really easy. Of course, there is also the internship route. But if you're working, it sometimes feels better to be paid for your time than to work for free. But, if you can find one, it's great to earn money, and also to get work experience that might serve you well in future job hunts and even college applications.
New York's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is a terrific program that helps connect youth, from teenagers in high school to young adults in their early twenties, with part-time summer employment and educational opportunities in hundreds of NYC community-based, non-profit civic and governmental organizations.
If you're between 14 and 24, live in Brooklyn (or anywhere in NYC) and are looking for a part-time paid summer job, consider applying for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which arranges for up to 25 hours of paid employment for seven weeks in the summer, paid at minimum wage.
Because there are more applicants than jobs, a lottery is drawn from among completed applications to determine which applicants are offered a job.
Applications are generally available in March for jobs that start in July and finish in August.
Hundreds of Brooklyn Employment Slots for Summer Work
In Brooklyn, over 375 such organizations offer youth employment through the SYEP program. In 2012, they included, for instance, specialized groups such as the Federation of Italian American Organizations and Brooklyn Chinese American Association, as well as YMCAs, Goodwill Industries, New York Junior Tennis League, Goodwill Industries and many more. There's quite a range.
Plus, the summer jobs aren't all work. They offer a combination of instruction and work.
What's this program's track record? In 2013, nearly 36,000 young New Yorkers were employed at more than 6,800 worksites during July and August, a substantial increase from just two years prior. "Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, and retail organizations," according to the organizers.
Who is eligible? Youth 14 to 24 years old as of the start date of the program. You must also permanently reside within the five boroughs of New York City.
Is there an application fee? No. According to the program website, "During the summer, you may be responsible for your own transportation to and from work as well as your own meals. These are the only out-of-pocket costs that you should incur while working for SYEP."
What are the jobs? SYEP is run by authorized community-based organizations that are nonprofits. They do the application intake and enrollment for candidates, job placements and process the payroll for the SYEP participants. When you apply for SYEP, you will have the opportunity to select the SYEP provider that you would like to work for.
How to apply? Visit www.nyc.gov/dycd and complete the application online. You can also download and print a copy of the application, complete and return it to a community-based SYEP provider.
More about the Program
According to their website, the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program is designed to:
- Emphasize real-world labor expectations
- Increase awareness of services offered by local community-based organizations
- Provide opportunities for career instruction, financial literacy training, academic improvement, and social growth
Have more questions? Online applications are available at the DYCD website (www.nyc.gov/dycd), or call DYCD Youth Connect at 1-800-246-4646 for more information.