Mayors Youth Program Provides Real-world Opportunities to Teens

Emmanuel Vincent's picture

Having a solid work foundation for youth is crucial in today’s society.  In a competitive environment, it always helps for one to obtain qualities & attributes that allow them to stand out. This is exactly what the city of Cambridge offers with the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP).

MSYEP is an eight-week program in which the youths, ages 14-the summer after their high school graduation, are employed by the city. The various working cites include school, parks, & offices. “MSYEP is designed to be a first or early work experience for Cambridge teen," explains Program Director George Hinds. We aim to provide the support a young person needs to have a first experience in the world of work leave us with new skills they can talk about when they apply for their next job."

Since a teen, George Hinds has been involved with MSYEP in some capacity. What keeps him enthused each summer is knowing that redundancy will not occur. “I love working here. I‘ve been here for 17 years. and while some things remain the same, no tow summers are the same and the job and work are constantly evolving, which keeps me excited about what we’re doing year after year." This is what truly makes MYSEP unique.

In an effort to better appeal to the youth in MSYEP is looking to capitalize off the popularity of social media. “This summer we are replacing our Yearbook Coordinator with a Coordinator for Social Media & Communications," elaborates Mr. Hinds. “This will allow us to share information videos and photographs throughout the summer, instead of waiting for a big yearbook at the end. Having a Social Media Coordinator on the team far more direct supervision of Counselor Staff.“ With the amount of time teenagers spending on various apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, it is easy to see why this change in MSYEP is occurring. People nowadays like to have instant access to resources and now those employed by MSYEP will have just that.

Having a solid staff is vital in any working environment. Every summer MSYEP looks to bring together a team of counselors who will gel and have the best interest of the youth.  It’s the perfect recipe for a job well done. Krystal Figueroa, Assistant Coordinator, certainly shares the same sentiments. “I am most looking forward to a new staff; it's always cool having a new team come together to work for a program that I am so passionate about and believe is needed and works." With a great staff, the youth employed will gain most from their working experience.

MSYEP begins on July 3. Throughout the duration of the program, the youth will have the opportunity to attend college tours and participate in a financial literacy workshop, hosted my Cambridge Savings Bank. In addition, the youth will be obligated to attend a weekly workshop instructed by their counselor, which focus which focuses on job readiness skills such as resume writing & job interview strategies. With the knowledge they youth will obtain from MSYEP, they will be on the fast track in the work world.