June 8, 2022

Avenues for Justice to Launch NYC Summer Youth Employment Program for Media Training

2021 AFJ SYEP Participants 

New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is the nation’s largest youth employment program, connecting youth and young adults with paid employment  and career exploration opportunities each summer. 

Last year, the City selected  Avenues for Justice (AFJ) for the first time to host the SYEP program at our Lower East Side Robert Siegal Center. Over a period of six weeks, AFJ provided 150 hours of AFJ Story Crew subsidized videography training to 9 Participants. The training was led by advertising professional, Gary Wachter, as part of our  new communications program funded by New York Community Trust. To learn more about our 2021 AFJ Story Crew, click here!

SYEP Instructor Gary Wachter and special guest Todd Liebler review setting up interview lighting and camera framing during a 2021 internship session.

This summer, the City has once again selected AFJ to serve as an SYEP host site from July 5th through to August 11th. We are doubling our impact from 9 Participants to 19 Participants. We are also expanding the program to train Participants across three areas of media: 1) filmmaking/videography, 2) podcasting; and 3) music production. Gary Wachter (video/ film), Ryan Burvick (music), and Gamal Willis (podcasting) will lead each group through a weekly progression and curriculum. The three groups will have opportunities to collaborate on various projects, for example, shooting a music video for the music program and creating podcast interviews of Participants.

Thanks to the generous support of the Hyde and Watson Foundation and New York Community Trust to expand our technological capacity, our community centers are now stocked with professional equipment for video and editing, podcasting and recording, and video conferencing. Throughout the summer, in addition to in-person hands-on work, SYEP Participants will also join workshops led by top professionals in all three fields via our new video conferencing equipment.

AFJ’s approach to the SYEP model is unique in combining viable job training with salaried summer employment. As a result, our Participants gain both hard and soft skills and learn to meet job demands including showing up early every day, producing quality work for supervisors and colleagues, showing appropriate workplace behavior, receiving feedback from an employer and applying it to performance.

As in 2021, AFJ’s SYEP program will again culminate with The Andy Awards, called “Andy” after Police Officer Andrew Glover who the program was originally named after. We invite all of our friends and supporters to this year’s Andy’s screenings and awards ceremony – date TBD. We look forward to celebrating the work and final projects of our SYEP Participants.

An AFJ Participant receives an award for Best Music Video at the 2021 Andy Awards!
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