June 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ExpandED Unveils Youth Empowerment Summer Youth Jobs Plan
Opportunity for teens from communities hit hardest by COVID-19 to work this summer
NEW YORK – In the wake of Mayor Bill De Blasio’s decision to eliminate the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), ExpandED Schools is proud to unveil the Youth Empowerment Summer Plan (YES), a reimagined system that would enable the city to provide remote work for 40,000 teens from communities hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. (You can read the Executive Summary here.)
“The Mayor has said that we don’t have a summer jobs program ready to go that would give teens the opportunity to do remote work this summer,” said Saskia Traill, President and CEO of ExpandED Schools, a non-profit that designed the city’s publicly-funded afterschool system. “In fact, we do have a program, and it is ready to go. The Mayor just needs to say, ‘Yes,’ to YES.”
ExpandED and its partners — Teens Take Charge, Beam Center, PASE, Student Success Network, and Here to Here — embarked on designing the virtual program after Mayor De Blasio announced that he would eliminate SYEP, which last year placed 75,000 teens in summer jobs.
The consortium laid out the YES plan, designed to enable organizations to offer paid digital internships for 40,000 young people with funding coming from a mix of State and City sources — $22.6 million in State funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and $49.4 million in City funds. In addition, private investors would contribute $2.9 million to support the YES plan’s transition to virtual work.
More than 30 organizations have already responded to a request for proposals for virtual internships to teens. And a majority of City Council members have demonstrated support for SYEP after Teens Take Charge launched a campaign to save the program.
“New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program is a vital immediate financial resource for students and provides the skills, opportunities, and connections to explore potential careers and secure long-term financial stability. The YES plan starts to make up for the havoc and inequity that the mayor’s elimination of SYEP caused,” said Carmen Lopez Villamil, 17, a member of Teens Take Charge. “But it is only the beginning. The city must fund a total of at least 75,000 paid positions for NYC youth this summer through YES and the city-led reinstatement of SYEP.”
If you would like to support YES, you can donate here: www.expandedschools.org/donate