The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) employs young people ages 14-20. With the opportunity to work in various settings—such as social services, retail, health care, real estate, and government offices—research shows program participants demonstrate higher rates of school attendance and passage of the NYS Regents Examination, and lower rates of mortality and incarceration. The bad news is that in 2016 nearly 80,000 youth were unable to take part in this program. As part of the Campaign for Summer Jobs, Children’s Aid joins the fight to increase funding to account for the increase in minimum wage and to expand the number of slots. Last year, Children’s Aid received nearly 6,000 applications but could only accept 1,500 youth into the program.

Please join us in asking our New York State legislators to include $44.86 million in their budget that will maintain the current level of job slots at the new minimum wage while expanding the program with an additional 5,000 slots. It is important that our legislators invest in the future of our youth.