SYEP Special Initiative Program – Emerging Leaders

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

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 the Summer Youth Employment Program, including SYEP Special Initiative Program – Emerging 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.


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.