Children’s Aid Youth Go to Albany for Youth Action Day

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On Monday, January 30th, a group of students from The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center and Lasting Investments in Neighborhood Connections (LINC) program joined the Campaign to Save Summer Jobs in Albany to encourage legislators to continue to increase funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). In this year’s proposed state budget, $25 million dollars have been allocated for SYEP, but youth and advocates are asking for more funding to restore many of the slots that were cut last fiscal year.

The Campaign to Save Summer Jobs had over 200 youth rally in the Legislative Office Building to ask for support for increased funding. At the rally, Senator Bill Perkins and Senator Adriano Espaillat, both of whom represent Children’s Aid Society sites, expressed their continued support of SYEP and other youth programs. In the afternoon, the youth from different agencies from across the city met with Senators and Assembly Members alike. They then joined Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo, representative of the Soundview and Huntspoint area in the Bronx, in the Assembly chamber.

The youth voiced their sentiments on the importance of summer jobs. They all echoed the issue of safety and staying out of trouble as one of the leading reasons that they are advocating for more SYEP funding. Not only do summer jobs offer a safe haven to many city youth but they also offer a learning experience that they may not otherwise have in their communities. Responsibility, maturity and money management are some of the skills that the youth believe a summer job teaches them.

We hope that more funding is allocated for SYEP and that city youth continue to be given opportunities that this program offers them. Last year, Children’s Aid supported 560 youth through SYEP.