The SYEP Summer Bridge program was the City’s virtual solution to the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) which was canceled for the summer of 2020 due to COVID-19. The newly designed virtual program gave youth a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through project-based learning and career exploration activities on relevant themes such as civic engagement, community service, public health, etc.
Roads to Success enrolled 640 participants between the ages of 14-21 and partnered with worksites including The Metropolitan Equestrian Team, Join the Bloc, GrantAnswers and Student Dream.
All participating youth used Hats & Ladders, a digital platform that facilitated a remote work-readiness experience, and engaged in digital self-guided as well as live instructor-led project based learning to complete a community action project.
Participating youth ages 16 and over were also given a Workplace Challenge project where they were placed in small groups and given the task of coming up with solutions to a real-world problem or a challenge issued by a partner worksite. At the end of the 5 weeks, the groups presented their research findings and made recommendations to their respective worksite. Challenges addressed various issues including digital marketing, mental health in the workplace, product development, financial literacy and many others.
“My participants have really grown into burgeoning young professionals. They’re examples of what real world professionals should be – they are collaborative, communicative and curious,” stated Patricia, one of the Success Coaches who worked directly with youth on their Workplace Challenge projects.
Thank you to all of our worksites who gave our young people this great opportunity to learn within a real-world setting and congratulations to all of the participants who worked hard this summer and had amazing presentations.
SYEP Summer Bridge took place from July 27 – August 28. Due to the downsized reach of the program, Summer Bridge prioritized low-income, justice-involved, foster care, runaway and homeless, NYCHA residents and young adults from high need neighborhoods, including those that have been most severely impacted by COVID-19.