Deadlines pass for city youth programs

With applications due last week, Elm City students are turning to two city youth programs, Youth@Work and New Haven Promise, that saw moderate growth over the last year.

While Youth@Work, a program that provides summer and year-round work opportunities for 14 to 21-year-old New Haven youth, received a comparable number of applications to past years, the range of work sites participating in the program saw an unprecedented rise in 2013. New Haven Promise, a full-tuition college scholarship for city students, is still in the process of counting applications — which appear to have increased over the last year, said New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton ’82 — and administrators said they expect to report a preliminary number of Promise scholars next week.

Youth@Work received approximately 1,000 applications, according to Gwendolyn Williams, the program manager with the city’s youth services department. The program hopes to provide about 650-700 jobs this year, said Tomi Veale, the acting youth services director and the Youth@Work program coordinator, across the approximately 70-80 work sites that Williams said participate in Youth@Work. Though in the past, no more than five businesses a year have joined the program, this year, Youth@Work partnered with 14 new job sites.

Yale University stopped contributing financially to Youth@Work after the summer of 2010 and has never volunteered as a job site, Veale said, but she added that Yale-New Haven Hospital contributes to the program and serves as a job site.

Program directors were not critical of Yale’s lack of involvement. Williams cited Yale’s donation of facilities and partnership with other youth programs as evidence of their support for New Haven youth initiatives. She added that Yale’s decision to stop contributing to the program is “not out of the ordinary because each year the dynamics change.” Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93, Yale’s deputy chief communications officer, could not be reached for comment.

New Haven Promise, which is funded by Yale, is in the process of figuring out how many students will qualify for this year’s scholarship. Promise officials are currently verifying the applicants’ GPAs, residencies and other relevant criteria, and officials expect to release preliminary numbers of qualified students in approximately one week, Melton said. She added that students will not know for certain if they qualify until the school year is over because they are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA through senior year.

The next step in the Youth@Work process is for students to meet with potential employers at a student job fair at Wilbur Cross High School on April 16th.

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