Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP)
Purpose of program: The Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP) is a youth employment program, connecting Connecticut youth living in the North Central Region between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer.
Participants have the opportunity to explore their interests and career pathways, develop workplace skills and engage in learning experiences that help in developing their social, civic and leadership skills.
By participating in structured project and work-based opportunities, Connecticut youth are better prepared for careers of the future.
Program dates for Summer 2021: The SYELP program runs for July 1st – August 27th, 2021.
News Coverage from 2021 SYELP:
If you’re an employer interested in participating, we want to connect with you! Contact Somaya McDermott at 860.899.3455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SYELP 2021 Highlights
Town of Bloomfield
One thing that worked really well this summer was the parent orientation that we had with the youth for both groups before the program started. All the parents were present for each child for Tier 2 & Tier 3. I think this helped to encourage student participation.
Also, one youth excelled at the worksite. This student was placed at the family resource center. She did so good the director is writing a grant to hire her on to work on their marketing. At this placement the youth worked on their marketing website, flyer creation, admin work and running groups.
Vernon Youth Services Bureau
The Vernon Youth Services Bureau has a long history of partnering with CWP to facilitate the Summer Youth Employment and Learning program. In the 20+ years that I have coordinating this program, this summer was by far the most challenging. We had significant concerns about participant safety related to the COVID pandemic as well as how to keep kids engaged in the virtual portion of the program. When we finally made the decision to proceed with the program, we felt comfortable with the plan that our town officials and CWP had developed to keep everyone safe. We also really wanted to be able to reconnect with youth in person since we hadn’t seen them since March.
During the intake process I spoke to a young woman that I spent a lot of time with during the school year, mainly due to behavioral concerns. When we were discussing potential worksite placements she informed me that she wanted to get more experience working with children since she recently found out that she was pregnant. I placed her at a daycare that is very close to where she lives. I was blown away by the transformation from what I saw at school to this more mature and very responsible young lady. She was placed in the infant room with a supervisor that has very high expectations for those who are working with her. The supervisor sought me out whenever I monitored the site to tell me how impressed she was. The young lady attended work every day and her supervisor took her “under her wing” and really mentored her to get her the experience and skills needed to care for babies. We talked about her interest in continuing after the program ended and she approached the owner about obtaining a part time job. She is now in the process of being hired to work there after school each day and she has a plan to have the baby go to the daycare while she continues to attend high school.
I’ve never seen her smile so much and she is FINALLY feeling a success that she hadn’t experienced in school. Given the challenges that this year presented, stories like this make all of it worthwhile and we are SO grateful to CWP for allowing us to connect with our youth in this way and to help them feel success.
I believe the one thing we did really well this summer was our civic engagement projects with our participants.
Youth & Young Adults