Summer Youth Employment Program WHDC Updates

Arise!SYEEP hosts Program End Celebration @ Our Children’s Foundation

August 15, 2017

The end of summer usually means going back to school and looking forward to the new year ahead. But for Harlem resident, Kevin Scott, this summer made quite a difference for his daughter Khadija, who was one of the participants who were apart of WHDC’s inaugural Arise!Summer Youth Employment & Education Program.

The father of Khadija Scott, who demonstrated her skills in coding by building a website in six weeks from start to finish, thanked everyone for the incredible experience and hoped others who come into the program next year will gain something from the experience like she did .

“I had no idea what the children were doing. I did not know that my daughter was learning how to write computer programs. I was so proud watching her do her demonstration in public. I now see a big future for her. Thank you and WHDC so much.”

— Kevin Scott, father of Khadija Scott a participant of Arise!SYEEP

WHDC was proud to celebrate the 80 youth who participated and completed the 2017 program. The event took place at Our Children’s Foundation on Saturday August 12, 2017 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm and welcomed nearly 100 guests that included SYEEP participants, their families, community organizations, elected officials and members of Community Board 9.

Our goals were to address the summer academic loss, and develop an association of the program with WHDC’s funding, which we decided that effective 2017, we would self-manage a program that combined job skills development with academic enrichment.

WHDC received an application pool of 290 and enrolled 94 West Harlem MCD9 residents, aged 14-18. Arise!SYEEP youth worked two-to-three days a week, depending on age in 35 work sites, mostly in the community. Youth participants were paid the same rate as their Senior concurrent, or $11/hour.

Participants had classes in Math and Literature as core subjects. In addition they were introduced to:

  • Keyboard skills
  • Microsoft Office
  • Coding
  • Visual Arts
  • Vocal Music
  • Chess

During our Lunch and Reach segment, accomplished guest speakers in the areas of:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Education
  • Health & Fitness
  • Community Advocates

Sharing motivational and inspiring stories, the guest speakers aimed to excite Arise! participants about their future and potential for success.

At the end of each week, participants were able to bond and went on field trips to:

  • The Liberty State Science Museum in New Jersey
  • The Intrepid
  • Museum of Natural History
  • The American Hats Factory in Philadelphia
  • State Parks

“…this is simply phenomenal, well done.”

Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, in response to youth presentations on priority issues identified in the CB9 Strategic Plan

This summer was a success because WHDC chose to involve the community in the program design and implementation. It was an honor to the youth and their families if you can join them in their celebration. Hopefully, the effects will be lifetime and upward.


Members of CB9 · WHDC Grantees · Local Employers · Our Children’s Foundation · Housing complex leaders · Community Leaders