DC Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the start of the city’s “Back to Summer” programming together with children and community members at Edgewood Recreation Center on Monday.
Entering its 42nd year, DC’s summer youth employment program is scheduled to run from June 28 through August 6. More than 13,000 youths from all eight wards, including 3,000 students at 54 school sites across DC, will be able to take part.
The program took place virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, young individuals participating in the program were able to gain on-the-job experience or serve as tutors for younger students, thanks to innovative organizations like On-Ramps to Careers, according to the Mayor’s Office.
Over 500 employers will serve as host sites for the 2021 program. It includes the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) agencies – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and a new partnership with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
“For 42 years, the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program has served as a national model for giving young people the opportunity to earn an income over the summer while equipping them with the leadership and job skills that will help them be successful,” said Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes. “Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians have benefitted from this program, and the Mayor’s bold budget proposal to expand the program further will support more young District residents working toward their goals. This expansion is a huge step toward equity and giving more youth a fair shot.”
Bowser also announced a partnership of DC with Amira Learning, DC United, the Washington Nationals, and the Washington Football Team to encourage elementary students to sharpen their reading skills over the summer and offer them prizes in the DC Public Library’s Read 20/Summer Reading Challenge.
“After a tough year, our students and families deserve a fun summer and the chance to be back together with their friends, coaches, camp counselors, teachers, and mentors,” said Bowser. “With the Summer Reading Challenge, the return of camps, and the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, we’re offering a summer filled with opportunity for our young people. Our other focus remains getting all young people 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19.”