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Seattle Youth Employment Program summer internships off and running

More than 250 youth and young adults started summer internships with City of Seattle departments and with community-based organizations and private employers this week—all participants in the Seattle Human Services Department’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

“The first day of summer internships is always exciting,” said Senior Program Supervisor Elijah Isaiah Warren. “The next six weeks will fly by, with interns working on interesting and meaningful projects. Many will add significant evidence of their skills to their resumes. It’s a win-win situations for interns and their supervisors.”

“SYEP is known for summer internships,” said Dr. Shukri Olow, director of HSD’s Youth & Family Empowerment Division. “Applications are due in the spring. We hope employers will consider applying to be a host agency, and we highly encourage friends and family members of past and current SYEP participants to apply the program next year.”

“Summer internships are part of a larger program supporting young people who live in a household with income at or below 80% Area Median Income,” Olow continued. “Youth and young adults aged 16–24 from households that meet the residency requirement can apply now for the SYEP Learn & Earn programs we offer during the school year, which offer stipends.”

In 2023, 295 youth were placed in paid opportunities (both summer internships and stipends during the school year) within City departments and organizations across Seattle, collectively serving more than 23,000 hours and gaining important employment and life skills.

“During the summer months, programming for our youth and young adults is crucial,” said Seattle Human Services (HSD) Director Tanya Kim. “Last year marked our 50th anniversary of providing young people with internships, paid at one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. The SYEP program remains one of our strongest investments that support successful futures for the next generation.”

A brief Seattle Channel video (“Seattle Youth Employment Program marks 50 years of empowering tomorrow’s leaders” (1:53)) is available on YouTube.

For more information about all SYEP opportunities, visit the program website at

Photo at top: SYEP interns (left to right) Yahya Abdullahi, Lyna Ma, Arianne Rosario, and Iman Mohamud work with Seattle Human Services (HSD). They are surrounded by Youth and Family Empowerment Division staff, including Director Olow (back row center), and HSD Legislative and External Affairs Team members (Seattle Municipal Tower, 7/10/2024).