I Am an Applicant

April 7, 2020 – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and out of concern for the health and safety of all New Yorkers, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development has made the difficult decision to not operate Ladders for Leaders this summer. We look forward to your application when the program resumes, and will keep you posted with updates when they are available to us.


Ladders for Leaders provides paid professional internships to NYC youth between the ages of 16 and 21. Applicants are evaluated based on academic performance, response to essay questions, and résumé quality. Selected applicants will undertake 20-30 hours of pre-employment training designed to teach essential workplace readiness skills and professional etiquette. Participants will then have the opportunity to interview for summer internships at a variety of companies across New York City. Partnering employers make final selections on hiring for the six-week paid internship.

Who is Eligible:

  • Youth between the ages of 16-21 at the start of the program who are enrolled in high school or college
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00
  • Resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City
  • Anyone with prior work experience, either paid or volunteer
  • Legally allowed to work in New York City

 Ladders for Leaders gives students a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through:

  • Pre-employment Training: Receive help with resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.  Learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette.
  • Paid Summer Internships: Paid internship opportunities available in a variety of industries in New York City to accommodate student interests. For a list of companies we partnered with in 2019 click HERE
  • Opportunity to join our growing Alumni Network:  Broad network of alumni, post-internship opportunities and networking events open to past participants of the program.

The application deadline was February 7.

Learn more with our frequently asked questions.


Join our mailing list 
Let’s succeed together! Refer a friend who may be interested in Ladders for Leaders to gain professional work experience.