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Youth Services

Youth Services


101st Precinct Community Affairs Officers Kevin Campbell and Lyn Blanchette met with Schoolbased SYEP participants to discuss community policing initiative.

In collaboration with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Department of Youth and Community Development, RDRC’s school based SYEP works closely with students of Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability and Queens Information, Research and Technology High School located in Rockaway Park and Far Rockaway, Queens.

The goal of the Rockaway Youth School-Based SYEP model is to strengthen connections between academic learning and summer career exploration, while providing youth with summer employment and educational experiences.  These principles include engaging the talents and interests of youth, developing their skills and competencies, and providing positive adult role models. This is achieved by:

  • Providing valuable work experience at job sites that are safe and well supervised
  • Assisting youth in identifying their career interests through exposure to different industries, occupations, educational pathways, and the requirements for success
  • Enabling youth to acquire positive work habits and develop employment-related skills
  • Facilitating the long-term employment and self-sufficiency of youth
  • Enabling youth to develop a greater understanding of higher education and career options available to them
  • Coaching our youth to develop financial literacy and other competencies that will prepare them to succeed in their transition to adulthood


RDRC WLEG participant at a local nursing home.

Funded by the New York City Council since 2016, the Work, Learn & Grow Program is an extension of our highly impactful Summer Youth Employment Program. The WLGEP offers youth aged 16-21 work readiness workshops, twenty-five weeks of paid part-time employment and paid internships during the academic school year. The WLGEP operates from October through April and provides our team with the ability to develop year-round partnerships that extend beyond worksite relationships that include guest lectures, job shadowing and career coaching opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements must be a New York City resident between the ages of 16-21, provide proof of enrollment in a local high school or college, and must have participated in the 2018 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).


Renee McWilliams addressing SYEP participants at Peninsula Preparatory Academy – June 2018.

Funded by The New York City Department of Youth & Community Development we provide youth aged 14-24 with up to six weeks of paid job experience, job readiness training, money management, healthy living, conflict resolution workshops. For our younger youth aged 14 and 15 we now require them to participate in weekly workshops that include topics on disaster preparedness, healthy living, civics and community service projects.

Over the decades our SYEP has grown from providing several hundred youth with summer jobs to 1,500+ plus youth annually, making it one the largest providers of summer youth jobs in Queens.
In order to provide this many summer jobs for our youth participants, RDRC relies on a team of SYEP Worksite Specialists to secure over 300 worksite locations throughout New York City and Nassau County. Our SYEP worksites include many of our Rockaway businesses, healthcare care providers, community-based organizations and elected officials that include: Jontue Discount Boutique; Kaufman Management Co.; New York Career Training School; Far Rockaway Cultural Center; St. John’s Episcopal Hospital; and the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Care Center. Several of our larger corporation worksites include Staples, CVS Stores, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Key Food.

Eligibility Requirements Youth must be a New York City resident between the ages of 14 and 24 years of age.



Funded by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Rockaway Youth Leaders Learn & Earn Program is a results-driven program geared for high school students that are serious about preparing for life beyond high school. Participants are required to commit a minimum of 250 hours per academic year that can be achieved by attending workshops, participating in community service projects, field trips and internships. Program workshop and field trip itineraries vary by academic year. Workshop topics include: resume and cover letter writing; planning for college; money management skills development; mental health & wellness; environmental justice; youth violence; and diversity tolerance. Fields trips destinations include: Big Apple College Fair @ Jacob Javits Convention Center; Wall Street/Financial District; Borough of Manhattan Community College; York College; LaGuardia Community College; Kingsborough Community College; Apollo Theatre; African American Burial Ground; and New York Public Library @ 5th Avenue.

Parental Engagement

In addition to empowering youth academically the Program provides a forum to support parents and families with wrap-around family services and employment assistance, housing and healthcare referrals.  To further support participant outcomes, parents meet once a month for varied workshops via Parents as Partner Workshops.  Parent/participant issues are further addressed in monthly Parent Advisory meetings

Program Benefits

In return for successfully completing the Program, participants are automatically enrolled in the SYEP Summer Internship Program (SIP).

Eligibility Requirements The Rockaway Youth Learn & Earn Program is available to high school juniors and seniors attending one of the following specialty schools co-located in located in the Far Rockaway Educational Complex – Academy of Medical Technology, Queens Information, Research & Technology or Frederick Douglass Academy VI. Each year RDRC’s accepts 66 students into the program, beginning September 2018.

For more information about our youth programs contact us at info@rdrc.org or 718.327.5300.

Founded in 1978, the mission of RDRC is "to promote the revitalization of the Rockways
economic base and neighborhoods, and to secure an improved quality of life for its residents."