Ladders for Leaders

Students working on their homework.

Want to explore a potential career this summer? NYC Ladders for Leaders provides opportunities to intern with dynamic corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and more! Apply today by visiting the official NYC Ladders for Leaders website.

2020 NYC Youth

Students having fun at afterschool.

The annual NYC Youth Count is starting on Tuesday, January 28th and will continue through Friday, January 31th. During that time Runaway and Homeless Youth provider staff and volunteers will ask young people ages 14-24 to participate in a short anonymous survey to provide information on the real experiences of youth and young adults. The NYC Youth Count will be conducted during regular business hours of participating youth-serving programs, including emergency shelters, drop-in centers, outreach teams, and other programs.

Spread the word by encouraging young people to visit an DYCD Drop-in Center to participate. If you have any questions about the NYC Youth Count, please contact Youth Connect at or call 1 800-246-4646.

NYC Young Men’s Initiative

Students working on their homework.

Launched in New York City in 2011, the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) is a cross-agency initiative aimed at relieving the disparities in outcomes between young Black and Latino men and their peers in areas related to education, health, employment and criminal justice. The DYCD YMI Cornerstone Mentoring Program targets youth in fifth through ninth grade who are at risk of dropping out of school.

“Mentors play a vital role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and unlock their full potential. Whether helping mentees study for a test, learn a new skill, or lift them up after a setback, mentors provide our youth with the strength and resilience to move forward and set their sights even higher,” says DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.

To read more about the NYC Young Men’s Initiative, Mentor NYC and to learn ways you can become a mentor to NYC youth, visit the official YMI website.

Vision Urbana Senior
Digital Literacy Program

Students working on their homework.

Vision Urbana sponsors a Senior Digital Literacy program, which is another Initiative providing older adults with bilingual education they need to remove the inhibition and fear of operating computers and handheld devices, navigating the web, and researching information online. The Vision Urbana, Inc. mission is to help develop healthy, strong and caring families, empower youth to achieve their fullest potential, and provide excellent educational, mentoring, and family support programs that build confidence and capacity to positively impact their future well-being, serve their community, and engage society with success.

Mentoring Programs

PAL Logo

iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. They partner with high schools in low-income communities, where a majority of students will be first-generation college students and match every student in a school with a college-educated mentor, who commits a minimum of three years to a single student. Mentoring pairs have the option to continue their relationship through college completion.

US Census 2020 Logo

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Established in 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of NYC is the founding agency of the nation’s youth mentoring movement. Their vision is that all youth achieve their full potential. Their mission is to build and support mentoring relationships to ignite the biggest possible futures for youth. Their work is guided by their values of believing in the power of mentoring, putting the kids first, and being excellent.

PAL Logo

Three out of four young people who become involved with the Department of Juvenile Justice will be re-incarcerated, at a cost of up to $200,000 per year. MentorUP trains volunteer mentors to build the academic confidence and social skills of youth who are in Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs. MentorUP’s highly motivated volunteers offer site-based mentoring with partnering agencies to help young people break the cycle of recidivism by providing innovative curriculums designed to promote their intellectual and social development.


US Census 2020 Logo

Museum Internships
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) offers paid and unpaid opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates, to explore museum careers and gain professional experience during the summer. For more information, visit their official website before January 22, 2020.

PAL Logo

BET Internship
Black Entertainment Television (BET) is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. A subsidiary of Viacom Inc., BET reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and sub-Saharan Africa. To help keep this powerhouse going, BET is looking for interns to join their NYC offices in several department this summer.

Census Job

2020 Census

As NYC gears up for the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau will be holding information sessions during the last to weeks of January. During these 16 information sessions, they will go over the different jobs available and how to apply. To learn more about these jobs that start at $28/hour, click on the borough below.

Shine On!

!!!Call 4 Submissions!!!

This section will highlight youth’s artwork, poetry, stories, civic engagement activities and youth-led activities. If you are or know a youth that is a part of a DYCD-funded program, please submit your work to Stay tuned for more work created by DYCD Youth!


The Rose That Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

Writer - Tupac Shakur

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.

Writer -Langston Hughes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Writer -Maya Angelou


22nd Annual Awards for
Youth in Foster Care

Youth Communication sponsors the Annual Represent Awards for Youth in Foster Care to promote a more positive image of New York City foster youth among agency staff, youth workers, and the public. Ten young people will be awarded prize money at a ceremony in spring. The prize money can be spent however the winner likes, although it is recommended that it be spent on education-related activities. For more information and to apply, visit the official Youth Communication website.

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read knows that every child can benefit from reading becoming a part of their lives. However, they also know that making reading a priority is easier for some families than for others, and that certain children are more likely than others to need additional help. To that end, they have launched a number of special initiatives that bring their program to those communities that most stand to benefit from Reach Out and Read.

Urban League

The Urban League is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization with 90 affiliates serving 300 communities, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than two million people nationwide. Their programs promote secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights for African Americans. To learn more about the Urban League programs here in NYC, visit the official Urban League website.

Stay Connected 📱

Follow @NYCYOUTH on Instagram for updates!

Also explore #NYCYOUTH to discover more in NYC.