Preparing Youth for Success

The City of Seattle's Human Services Department (HSD) is committed to ensuring all children and youth transition successfully into adulthood. HSD's Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Division supports positive youth and family development through strategic investments in community safety, youth employment opportunities, mentoring and educational supports, affordable living, family support, food and nutrition, and behavioral and mental health programs.

Programs and services funded by YFE are also key elements of signature initiatives including the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiative, Youth Employment Initiative, and Our Best.   HSD is deeply committed to ensuring that all Seattle youth are prepared for the future regardless of race, income, immigration status, or neighborhood. To achieve this the department supports a combination of direct services to Seattle youth and robust investments, totaling $27.5 million annually.  


Youth Opportunity Initiative:  The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiative (MYOI) is an effort to align City resources and strategy to ensure that every young person in Seattle has access to opportunities and resources to thrive and successfully transition into adulthood. MYOI is comprised of programs supporting five pillars of youth success: Education, Positive Connections, Employment, Community Safety and Health.

Programs and Services:

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) has recently launched a new year-round program designed to help youth 16-24 years old grow as community leaders and prepare for future work and career opportunities. Through SYEP, youth participants will build job-readiness skills, explore new careers, and qualify for a summer internship opportunity in the Seattle area. The goal is to increase their ability to pursue careers that pay well and have meaning, as defined by youth themselves!
Summer meal program provides no-cost breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for kids and teens ages 1-18.
Upward Bound prepares underserved high school students for higher education by promoting academic achievement, goal setting, and career exploration. The program’s goal is to give students the knowledge, skills and motivation needed to earn a two- or four-year college or technical degree after high school.