SYEP Video Program

SYEP Video Program / 2009


The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with summer employment and educational opportunities. In 2010 DYCD employed 35,725 participants and placed them at 5,800 worksites.  Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, and retail organizations.

Tangible Outcomes

  • Implemented a marketing DVD for SYEP
  • Each young person got to facilitate a workshop of their own creation
  • Young people directed and edited the video
  • Featured on a segment with NY1

Comparable Course

Youth Media: Communication, Community, & Social Change

E59.1017, 3.0 credits                                                                                                                                 New York University

This course explores the theory, practice, and impact of the non-profit youth media organizations and school-based programs working in this field locally and around the world. Students will also use media production to conduct fieldwork in the New York City area that further builds the subfields of youth media/youth development, teaching and learning, and community building. Research projects will document and investigate how youth media is supporting the development of young people’s capacities for 21st century skills of digital communication, critical literacy, and civic engagement.

Corresponding Texts

Hope on a Tightrope by Cornel West

Book Review

Dr. West creates a unique picture around society and very specific aspects of our world. These themes consisted of: Courage, Philosophy, Identity and Race, Faith, Family, Music, Leadership, Love and Service, Social Justice, Freedom and Wisdom. The book not only explains how he feels on these topics, but he also utilizes quotes, speech excerpts, letters and photographs to drive the point home.  As a best selling author West also knew the importance of audio, in which he provided the soundtrack for his book, which made my community of young people connect to it so much more.

Themes, Topics, Skills

“The black middle class in the United States has become drunk with the wine of the world- materialism, narcissism, and hedonism. And then we wonder why the younger generation does not have access to the traditions of the struggle. Preach to young folk to be successful rather than to be great and t hey will think it’s all about success. DO you really believe that Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, and Malcolm X dies so that you can just be successful? Do you think they died so that you can just be peacocks, walking around saying, “Look at me, look at me, look at me!” Somebody needs to remind everyone that peacocks strut because they can’t fly.” (Page 55)

Assessment and Implementation

Dr. West was certainly one of our main influences in creating the SYEP video. When the young people were going over what they wanted other youth to get out of their video, they stated the sense of community that came from this production. As the facilitator I just watched how organically these young people wanted to service their peers, and they found creating the video was very rewarding. While going through brainstorming sessions a range of the book’s themes opened the group up for discussion, specifically the topics around Family, Courage, Music, Social Justice and Leadership. One other aspect to this program was that the young people took what they were passionate about and taught it to their peers. During those sessions, one could really see how each youth was a leader. By the time the video was created the group had not only learned and implemented new video skills such as directing, producing and editing. But they had also communicated in such a way that they mad sure their voice got heard.


“Syreeta Gates has been a great inspiration in my life from the day we first met. Helping me to realize how far dreams and a little bit of inspiration can take you in life, always helping to keep inspiration, hope, dreams, and some creative as the formula to inspire the youth.” Dillon O. Persaud / Student

“Syreeta’s creativity is like no others, and she’s always creating new ideas. When I need advice or guidance in what I want do in life or my next step, I go to her.”  Isaiah Kamires Brew / Student

For more information about this project or organization please visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dycd/html/jobs/summer_youth_employment.shtml



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Follow Me

%d bloggers like this: