The city grew Youth Summer Employment Program (SYEP) benefits teens and young people with various opportunities at Queens Community House (QCH), the social service organization based in Forest Hills.
In February, Mayor Eric Adams announced that SYEP would include a record 100,000 young people participating in the summer jobs program at multiple work sites, allowing them to explore different interests and career paths, develop productive work habits and engage in skill-building learning experiences.
Some of the QCH SYEP worksites include Queens Connect, a youth workforce program that trains and prepares out-of-school youth for successful careers in the restaurant and manufacturing sector, as well as YouthBuild, a program of labor that helped young adults get the construction. skills and achieve their high school equivalency (HSE).
Queens Connect is a collaboration between four community organizations, Queens Community HouseJacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, Ocean Bay Local Development Corporation, and Sunnyside Community Services, to train and prepare young adults to succeed in the food business: restaurant, manufacturing, and retail.
“It’s amazing how enthusiastic and engaged young people are in our programs for SYEP,” said Alexandria Sempter-Delves, QCH Youth Workforce Division Director. “We heard how much the youngsters enjoyed and learned, whether they are discovering new methods of booking with Chief Instructor Rob at Queens Connect or gaining hands-on building experience at YouthBuild.
“The past few years have been a difficult time for young people seeking opportunities for growth, so we need to reinforce the importance of helping young people develop social, civic and leadership skills to prepare them for the future. , and SYEP is a great way to do that.”
For the first time in years, QCH’s Generation Q program supported a cohort of SYEP participants. Generation Q is QCH’s LGBTQ+ youth program that offers a wide variety of educational and recreational opportunities, as well as social and emotional support.
“Our intent was to create a SYEP track that would be assertive and intentionally curated for LGBTQ+ youth and allies,” said Lindsey Duel, Generation Q program director. “We offer four tracks: lobbying and political activism; internal programming; creation of external content; and an animation and training course. Each of these tracks provides insight into the work we do, empowering young people to make meaningful contributions to Gen Q, as well as providing them with meaningful and transferable skills.
QCH was formed in 1975 as Forest Hills Community House to help heal the wounds of a neighborhood dispute. Over four decades, the reach and scale of QCH has grown to offer an extensive network of comprehensive services across 38 sites in 15 neighborhoods across the borough to impact individuals, families and communities. while serving more than 26,000 children, youth, adults and seniors each year.