Preparing Youth for Success

The City of Seattle's Human Services Department (HSD) is dedicated 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 facilitates 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 contributing to five pillars of youth success: Education, Positive Connections, Employment, Community Safety and Health.

Seattle Youth Employment Program: 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!   .

Programs and Services:

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), in support of the Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative, provides internship opportunities for young people (16-24) in our community who are from low-income households and communities that experience racial, social, and economic disparities. By promoting work readiness and strengthening career development, SYEP helps to prepare and support youth for real world jobs by providing them with the skills necessary to be competitive in the job market.
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 necessary to earn a two- or four-year college or technical degree after high school.