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What Are Summer Youth Employment Programs?

Last updated February 5, 2024

Looking for a way to make money, grow your professional network, and give back to your community this summer? A Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) may be a good fit for you! Here's what you need to know about SYEPs– what they are, how to find them in your area, and more! 

What is an SYEP? Why should I join one?

SYEPs offer entry-level summer jobs to young people at local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and city governments. In addition to gaining work experience, many programs offer job readiness workshops that offer helpful career tips and advice, mentorship opportunities, resume help, and support preparing for job interviews.

How old do I have to be to participate in an SYEP?

While each city and state has their own age requirements, the typical age range for SYEPs is 14-24 years old. Be sure to look up your city or county's program to learn more about their specific age requirements.

What do I need to apply to an SYEP?

Each program will have different application requirements, but many will ask for the following information: your name, birth date, email address, phone number, household size and income, social security number, or birth certificate.

A note to undocumented youth applying to an SYEP

If you are an undocumented young adult, you may be eligible to participate in an SYEP. Every SYEP will have a different set of eligibility requirements and some programs do have positions available for undocumented youth. Be sure to speak with a representative at your local SYEP to learn what options are available to you.

What else should I know before I apply?

  • SYEPs are popular and spots fill up fast, so be sure to submit your application as soon as possible. Some programs close their applications early if they receive enough before the deadline.
  • Make sure you read the application instructions and eligibility requirements thoroughly and that you have all of the required documents before starting your application.
  • Remember to check your email regularly after applying so you don’t miss any important deadlines or next steps.

Three young employees at a food counter chatting with a customer while working - What Are Summer Youth Employment Programs?

How do I find an SYEP near me?

Many programs may go by a different name other than SYEP. Here are a few tips for finding a program near you:

  • Reach out to your school. Ask your guidance counselor, teacher, or administrator for information about summer opportunities available in your community.
  • Check out your local library. Many libraries have teen/young adult programming departments that can assist you with finding your local SYEP.
  • Conduct a Google search. Find your local SYEP by searching on Google. Here are a few keywords to help make your search easier:
  1. Summer Youth Employment Programs, [insert name of your city]
  2. Summer jobs program, [insert name of your city]
  3. 2024 summer youth employment, [insert name of your city]
  4. SYEP 2024, [insert name of city]

Many cities have more than one SYEP, so as you do your research, make note of all the programs you learn about.

SYEPs across the country

Listed below are direct links to a few of the larger SYEP programs. Keep in mind that some programs may not have opened their applications yet, while others may be closing soon.

Have any questions about finding an SYEP near you? Text #Jobs to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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