CSS: Every high school student deserves a summer job

Let’s put all of New York’s teens to work next summer, a new report argues.

The Community Service Society says every high school kid should be guaranteed a job that suits their academic and career goals through a city-funded program.

About 60,000 kids won summer jobs through a city lottery this year — but more than 140,000 applied, leaving many without constructive work for the summer, according to the Society.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Youth and Community Development said that the city has assembled multiple stakeholders “to strengthen the City’s programming even more.”

This summer, Yulissa Martinez, 17, landed a minimum wage job in the development office of Montefiore Medical Center through a “Ladders for Leaders” partnership the hospital had with her school, the High School for Health Education and Research Occupations in the South Bronx.

“I had an opportunity to speak to one of the surgeons. ... I witnessed open heart surgery. I was already interested in health care,” but her summer job convinced her to pursue a health care career, perhaps as an oncologist or trauma surgeon, and helped her make connections in the field.

Ladders for Leaders, which is a component of the city’s summer youth employment program, but not part of the lottery, provides professional internships to youth between the ages of 16 and 22, and placed 1,538 participants this summer. It is an example of the kind of program lauded in the CSS report.


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