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De Blasio Announces Summer Bridge Program to Keep Teens Productive This Summer

De Blasio Announces Summer Bridge Program to Keep Teens Productive This Summer

The program is slated to begin in late July and offer approximately 35,000 NYC youths with career exploration activities and and projects.

On July 1, Mayor de Blasio announced the Summer Youth Employment (SYEP) Summer Bridge 2020, a $51 million partnership (public-private) that will provide engagement and enrichment activities to 35,000 of New York City’s youths to keep them active and productive all summer. De Blasio announced this initiative after suspending this year's traditional SYEP and proposing to cut it from the city's budget due to the financial crisis that has stemmed from the coronavirus.

Summer Bridge is slated to begin in late July and offer approximately 60-90 hours of activities over the course of 5 weeks. The program will prioritize low-income, justice-involved, foster care, runaway, and homeless NYCHA residents and youth adults from communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

All participants will engage in online career exploration and interaction with professionals—including well-known personalities and industry leaders from public service, business, technology, the arts, and more—aligned to the participants' interests. SYEP Summer Bridge will also feature project-based learning related to community service, COVID-19 recovery, and STEAM. Some will participate in a "Workplace Challenge," in which youths will work in teams to solve real-world business issues presented to them by private employers, community-based organizations, and government agencies. 

"With its emphasis on career exploration and project-based learning, Summer Bridge will both open a window for participants onto possible future career paths, and help them build the skills necessary to successfully travel those paths," said David Fischer, executive director of the NYC Center for Youth Employment. "We believe it is uniquely well suited to meet the needs of this challenging moment for New York City."

City officials, along with private contributors, aim to serve approximately 35,000 participants through the program.

While the SYEP Summer Bridge initiative is distinct from the traditional SYEP, the city notes that it will leverage the program's partners and infrastructure to deliver a "valuable experience for participating youth through career exploration, project-based learning and management, and civic engagement skill building." 


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Sophia Martini

Author: Sophia Martini, a former intern of NYMetroParents, is a senior at Syracuse University. She is a true citizen of the world, as she has traveled to five continents, lived in Madrid, and has friends throughout the globe. During her free time, you will find her in the sun, dancing, and sipping some of her favorite rosé. See More

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