NYC announces summer programs for youth from neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19

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NEW YORK CITY — NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson on Thursday announced new summer programs aiming to engage city kids primarily from neighborhoods hardest hit by coronavirus.

“As we fight back the disease, the doors are opening more and more to allow us to do more and more to help” the youth, de Blasio said.

“What can we do right now, right this moment to help ensure that we can support young people who are going through so much?”

These programs are in addition to the Summer Youth Employment Program, which is expected to be a topic of discussion during the budget meeting, according to the mayor.

The largest program, “NeON Summer,” will offer at least 2,700 young New Yorkers a paid six-to-eight week immersive remote-learning experience.

About 100 kids from each of the city’s 27 hardest-hit areas will participate and could earn up to $1,200.

About $3.65 million will go to the program, which will focus on employment readiness, career exploration and mentorship, social and civic leadership, arts and creative expression, financial literacy and even virtual reality.

The city will also set aside $100,00 for the “Each One Teach One” youth program this summer.

With this program, young people can get paid to help design media messages and campaigns that promote social distancing and amplify public health information about COVID-19.

The third program announced was the “Community Crisis Response Initiative,” which provides $10,000 to 22 community-based organizations, or $220,000 total. The program would support at least 500 youth.

The initiative would expand crisis response, which would help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including youth programming, food and PPE distribution, public health education and mental health and art therapy sessions.

These programs would reach about 3,300 youth, not including the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), Thompson said.

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