SYEP Special Initiative Program – Emerging Leaders

Summer Youth Employment Program Special Initiative Program – Emerging Leaders (SYEP-EL) for NYC youth age 14-24

SYEP is back for 2020!!!

SYEP will now be called SYEP Summer Bridge 2020. This program will provide virtual work-based learning activities for participants. This is for both Younger Youth participants AND Older Youth participants. This is completely virtual – there is NO in-person component to this. Younger Youth will not be reporting to a school building and Older Youth will not be reporting to a worksite this summer.

The application deadline was 7/15/2020. Applications will no longer be accepted.

For more information, visit our Youth Workforce Programs page.

Thank you to everyone who advocated for the restoration of funding for these programs through the #FundYouthNYC campaign! We hope you will watch the following video from past SYEP and Ladders for Leaders participants speaking on what these programs mean to them.

The Summer Youth Employment Program Special Initiative Program – Emerging Leaders (SYEP-EL) will be recruiting participants. SYEP-EL is part of the nation’s largest youth employment program, connecting New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience for six weeks throughout the summer.


Who is Eligible?

To apply for Emerging Leaders SYEP you must be between the ages of 14 and 24 and in one of the following categories:

  • In or aging out of Foster Care
  • Who are Runaways
  • Who are homeless living in/out of a shelter
  • Who are Justice/Court Involved
  • Receiving ACS Preventative Services
  • Who are receiving Cash Assistance from HRA and are referred through the Business Link from a caseworker

What opportunities are available?

Older Youth (16-24) will receive paid Worksite Assignments at over 150 locations across the city. Past partners have included:

  • Entertainment (Hot. 97)
  • Retail Stores (CVS, Walgreens)
  • Administrative opportunities (ACS)
  • Summer Camps (Camp Counselors, Mentors, Basketball Coaches)
  • Maintenance (Schools, Church)

Younger Youth (14-15) will participate in project-based learning around topics including Digital Journalism and Business 101. Participants receive a weekly stipend.

In addition to these career readiness opportunities, SYEP-EL provides professional work attire, free lunch programs, and mental health support from an on-site Social Worker and agency staff.

How can I apply?

Please complete the following important documents for application:

Program slots are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Packets must be printed and scanned back to Samentha Jean-Charles at [email protected] once the application is completed. Once you have a completed packet, please schedule an appointment at  

Location – John Bowne High School – 63-25 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11367 (main site where orientations will be held and Project based Learning takes place)


Social Media:


For more information, please contact Samentha Jean-Charles, Program Director at [email protected] or 718-704-7609.