HERE to HERE believes in a thriving, inclusive economy, in The Bronx and NYC. We understand that the effects of COVID-19 compound and extend existing inequities and that those with the fewest resources stand to bear the greatest physical, emotional, and financial costs of this pandemic. Our policy and advocacy efforts seek to address these communities first and foremost.
We believe that work-based learning, internships, and partnerships between employers and education, like New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program, will directly benefit our city’s young people, families, and businesses. After a spring of remote learning, New York City teens are exceedingly in need of meaningful engagement and income, even if this takes place indoors.
If we are to rebuild our economy with greater economic equity after this pandemic, we will need all New Yorkers–including young people–to be ready with the skills and experience to aid this recovery. Students, as well as the programs that support their work and learning, are vital to NYC’s economic response to COVID-19.
Save NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program
HERE to HERE is responding to New York City’s recent decision to cancel the 2020 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Following the Mayor’s cancellation of SYEP, HERE to HERE joined the #SaveSYEP Campaign, along with vital partners like Teens Take Charge.
Why SYEP Matters Now More Than Ever
NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program has been in operation for more than 50 years, providing millions of New Yorkers with their first job experience. Now more than ever, SYEP is a vital resource to low-income youth and communities, as these are the same communities that continue to be hit hardest by COVID-19.
There are many ways that the city can approach the fiscal challenges of delivering SYEP, such as moving to stipends instead of wages, using high school or college credits as a way to substitute some wages, or positioning SYEP as an income transfer, which would distribute the overwhelming part of its budget directly to low-income young people and families–the very families that are already disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
What You Can Do
We stand with our partners fighting to have SYEP reinstated for Summer 2020. You can support these efforts by:
- Signing Teens Take Charge’s Petition to save SYEP
- Tweeting, liking, and retweeting using the hashtag #SaveSYEP
- Following Teens Take Charge’s Daily Actions, which you can also find on HERE to HERE’s Twitter feed.
- Watching and circulating this video on why we need SYEP, now more than ever
Preparing for Summer 2020 and the Coming School Year
HERE to HERE will continue to support our high school network in planning for summer, including continued advocacy for a better and more streamlined SYEP. As we prepare for the coming academic year, we’ll also work with our partners to address new COVID-related challenges and develop policy recommendations for how HERE to HERE and its partners can help mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 in The Bronx and NYC.