Summer Youth Employment Program for Younger Youth

The Y’s Summer Youth Employment Program for Younger Youth (SYEP YY) is a New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) program that serves youth between the ages of 14 and 15 who are residents within New York City’s five boroughs. The purpose of SYEP YY is to develop program models that will strengthen New York City’s workforce development system and help young people gain the support, education credentials, and skills needed to succeed in today’s and future economy.

The goals and objectives of SYEP YY are to:


  • Understand career pathways and decision points, including the linkages among educational attainment, relevant experience, demonstrable skills and career advancement.
  • Enable youth to acquire good work habits and develop employment-related skills to learn work norms and culture.
  • Build professional networks to facilitate the long-term employment and self-sufficiency of youth.
  • Develop social skills including communication, critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills, and self-management.
  • Empower youth to develop financial literacy and other competencies that will prepare them to manage money (e.g., budgeting, opening a bank account) that will assist in their transition to adulthood.

The SYEP YY model exposes participants to a six-week career learning experience within a specific industry sector in New York City. Participants gain specific knowledge about the importance of civic engagement by utilizing the newly incorporated skills to investigate and respond to an authentic problem or challenge within their own community. Participants drive the program by selecting a series of projects that are conducted with the guidance of their Teaching Artist and Youth Leaders and work together on final projects that are showcased to the entire program at the end of the six weeks.

The method utilized is Project Based Learning (PBL), which develop life skills and critical thinking, leadership skills, promotes commitment to academic achievement, and cultivates an ethic of service.

Examples of careers participants experience:

  • Community advocacy/civic participation
  • Environmental justice
  • STEM
  • Performative arts
  • Film editing

For more information, email Phoenix Madera at

Our Team

Martin Yafe
Chief Program Officer
212-569-6200 x248
Phoenix Madera
Y @ CSS SONYC Afterschool Program Director
212-569-6200 x217