Youth at AAANY learn about Summer Opportunities
The Arab American Association of New York in partnership with the Mayors Office of Immigrant Affairs and their Know your Rights initiative coordinated a forum for youth to learn about summer jobs and internship opportunities. Our DYCD & Summer Opportunities Forum was widely successful, it had a high turnout, great information, and great speakers. Our incredibly driven youth were eager to help set up, buy the pizza, and get the forum started. They all came eager to get informed and figure out what they will be doing this coming summer. Some youth came because of their friends, and some parents came to accompany their teenagers.
The event began with delicious pizza and casual conversation as everyone got settled in and finished setting up. Lourdes Vazquez began the forum by speaking about the Neighborhood Leadership Institute which is held throughout the five boroughs and offers free skill building workshops. She felt that the forum turnout was great and she joked that she was “shocked that all the pizza was gone”. She also felt that the youth employment opportunities guide we made for them were excellent. Emily Rowland-Kain, also from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs thought the forum was very worthwhile, “You had so many kids attend and they were really enthusiastic about finding summer employment-- it's great that you can help them”. Emily also spoke to everyone about how their parents can apply for citizenship at their service events, one of which will be held in Sunset Park on May 18th.
Kenneth Scott, a Senior Community Liaison from the Department of Youth & Community Development, spoke to a group of over 20 youth about the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for which the deadline is May 10th 2013. He gave out paper applications and explained the type of information they would need to complete it. The Summer Youth Employment Program provides part time jobs for youth ages 14 to 24 in community organizations, government agencies and the private sector. The program runs for six weeks from July 8th to August 17th. In the past the AAANY has been an SYEP worksite and has hosted SYEP participants during the summer who have been incredibly helpful during the summer months.
Some other opportunities for youth during the summer besides SYEP are the Sadie Nash Leadership Project- Summer Institute for which the deadline is May 3rd. This great program for young women runs from July 8th to August 16th Monday through Friday 10:00-4:30 PM. Youth in this program take interesting classes and workshops and also meet women in different leadership positions. At the AAANY we currently have a participant from the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Nancy Uddin is an incredible young lady interning with us every Friday and is heavily involved with Brooklynat. Ayisha a community organizing fellow at the AAANY strongly feels that “Nancy has served as a bridge to other women's’ empowerment initiatives across the city, and that is the essence of what an organizer does.”
Another wonderful summer opportunity is the FUTURESandOptions Summer Internship Program through which students participate in paid internships in NYC. The deadline to apply to this program is June 15th. One of our remarkable youth, Ehlame Kaid had a few words to say about the forum “I went to the forum to see what type of opportunities I could get involved with in and outside of my community. I actually really liked it because I didn't think we had these types of things in my community, that I could have joined a long time ago. I wish I knew about all of these opportunities earlier on, so that I could have gotten involved since my freshmen year of high school instead of my senior year. I recommend that everyone go to these forums.”
Regardless of whether you participate in a program, there are great summer opportunities in the city to volunteer and get involved. We love to help youth get involved and connected with their community. We love to help them get engaged in activities that will further their professional and personal development. At AAANY we always have something awesome going on that you can get involved with. If you are interested in art, we will have the RASMI Summer Arts Programs with Katherine Toukhy. Katherine believes that “An image can show the power and nuances of who you are, and your experiences, if you are given the right tools to build it”. If you want to help children in need please get involved with our School Supply Drive for Syrian and Palestinian children in a refugee camp. Our amazing and dedicated caseworker Arwa Aziz is coordinating this wonderful relief effort/ humanitarian effort, she believes, “Arwa quote “. If you want to help more locally come with us to Staten Island on May 11th to participate in a Sandy Relief project during which we will be painting and helping families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Stay connected, give back and pass it forward!