Community Service Society (CSS) premiered the inaugural episode of its monthly podcast Fighting Poverty, Strengthening New York which provides a new message platform for the anti-poverty organization to reach target audiences, showcase the value of its work and advance policies that can help the city’s low-income residents move ahead.
In this episode, which aired this past Tuesday (August 30th), we continue the discussion started last February when CSS released a proposal to improve the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) by providing universal summer jobs for all New York City high-school youth. Our podcast discusses this proposal and examines a model of how summer youth employment could be maximized to steer students into career-related jobs aligned with their individual interests.
We visit the south Bronx to meet Jeff Palladino, Principal of Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, whose partnership with local nonprofit Rocking the Boat is not only helping students get work, but helping them grow. We also hear from student Francisco Cabrera about how his summer job, building rowboats that will explore the Bronx River, means more to him than just a paycheck.
Throughout the episode we are guided by Lazar Treschan, CSS Director of Youth Policy, who explains that current summer youth employment programming has not caught up with 21st Century realities. “Not only should students have meaningful work in the summer, but this work should be connected to their schooling and continued during the semester,” said Treschan, who authored the agency’s seminal report on universal summer jobs.
In the coming months, CSS will share more great stories about how we are fighting on behalf of low-income New Yorkers, told by the people involved in our work. The podcast is available on our website at www.cssny.org/podcast as well as on ITunes.