As a student, seeking summer employment or internships isn’t easy. Luckily there are two backup options if you really can’t find something to do during the summer (however, you need to sign up by March). The two options are Ladders for Leaders and SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program). Both Ladders for Leaders and SYEP are government funded programs that provides New York City youth with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. Here I’ll give you an overview of both programs.
Ladders for Leaders is program that offers high school and college students, from ages 16-24, the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships in many different fields in New York City.
Acceptance into L4L is merit based (you must have a gpa of 3.00 or more) and the application requires an 270 words or more essay answering the prompt questions.
Once accepted into the program, you will receive an email telling you to choose days to attend several orientations that will prepare you for various jobs. All of the orientations combined must add up to 30 hours.
- Near the end of June, some students will get offers to interview with several hiring managers. If the interview is a success then during the summer you will intern there, if not then you might go to another interview until you find an internship. Unfortunately, L4L does not guarantee a job. You can be in the program but still don’t get a job.
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment.
Unlike L4L, SYEP is not merit based. You can apply for the program if your parent’s income is within a certain amount and acceptance to the program is chosen by lottery.
Once accepted you will go to your chosen provider with your required documents and attend a short interview (about five minutes long). While you are there you will also choose a day to attend an eight hour orientation.
Finally, around the middle to end of June, you will attend a job fair in which you can choose the place you want to work at. Once you are accepted into SYEP you are guaranteed a job.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are many advantages and disadvantages of both L4L and SYEP. L4L is more prestigious than SYEP and if your grades are good, then acceptance to the program is almost guaranteed however getting a job is not. On the other hand, SYEP is based on luck but if you’re in the program then you definitely got the job.
The best thing to do would be to sign up for both L4L and SYEP but the problem is that L4L will almost always reply first to inform you of your acceptance and you can’t be in both L4L and SYEP at the same time. If you want to be in SYEP but you’re already enrolled in L4L, then getting out of the program is extremely complicated and may result in you losing your position in both programs. It’s best to make the decision early on to prevent any mishaps. Best of luck :).