Several youths, male and female, and of different races, sitting on a blanket while smiling and holding up small signs with the SYEP logo or the hashtage #unstoppable
The deadline to apply is Friday, September 20th, 2024

Create an account and fill out the online application now by clicking on the button above. (Download a help guide.)

  • When you submit your application, it will be reviewed and processed. If your application meets the eligibility requirements, SYEP will contact you about the next steps in the process.
  • If you have questions, contact our office by calling (206) 386-1375. You can also email us. If you are a youth or parent, email; if you are a prospective employer partner, email Interpretation services are available.

What is the Seattle Youth Employment Program?

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) features two programs to help you develop skills for life and work that will help achieve your current and future goals:

  • Learn & Earn Program (Foundations / Pathways): Participants identify professional interests, gain marketable skills, are exposed to various career fields, and build their social network. Students receive stipends based on their quarterly participation during the school year.
  • Internship Program: Participants are placed in professional and/or structured paid work settings within City departments, local businesses and non-profit agencies to apply their knowledge, gain hands-on experience, develop professional connections, and build their resume.

Learn More:

View Program Flyer | View More Program Information

What is Learn and Earn: Career Foundations?

SYEP offers Career Foundations for those who are new to the workforce world and for those in need of key industry soft skills development to become competitive candidates for any position they apply for.

Participants within this program receive job readiness skills training and career planning workshops from dedicated, trained staff while receiving 1:1 intensive support to help with personal and professional development. Participants can participate in the program and earn a monthly stipend to help support them while studying.

Program Information:

Stipends of $300 are paid at the end of each module. In order to qualify for the stipend, the participant will need to meet all stipend requirements, which include attending a certain number of classes within the module and completing all required assessments and assignments.

Stipends are paid via check through our Finance Department. The availability of the check will be communicated by program staff prior to check disbursements.

Program Duration:

6 months, 2-hour weekly sessions

Cohort-based classes are led weekly by an assigned Youth Development Counselor and run approximately two hours per week. At the start of the program, applicants will select the day that works best for them. 

Class Information:

Examples of class topics that will be offered include:

  • Team Building and Collaboration 
  • Effective Communication  
  • Elevator Pitch & Professional Email Etiquette 
  • Resumes & Cover Letters 
  • Networking & LinkedIn 
  • Financial Literacy: Money Mindset 

We also offer opportunities for participants to receive real-time training from industry professionals in the form of workshops and field trips during the duration of the program.

Foundations Program Requirements and Eligibility:

  • Meet all SYEP standard application eligibility requirements
  • Have not previously participated in SYEP Foundations, SYEP Learn and Earn (school year or summer) Programming
  • Eager to learn and engage with program material and staff  

View Program Flyer | View More Program Information

What is Learn and Earn: Career Pathways?

SYEP offers Career Pathways for those who have a career sector already in mind. Career Pathways is an intensive, intermediate-advanced level training program where participants receive technical training in their chosen career track and are provided support from dedicated staff members to prepare them for entry-level professional internship/job experience(s).

Participants within this program also receive job readiness skills training and workshops from subject matter experts (SMEs), and are provided opportunities to job shadow and interview professionals within their chosen career field. Participants can participate in the program and earn a monthly stipend to help support them while studying.

Program Duration:

6 – 8 months

Career Tracks:

SYEP offers the following career tracks that you can select from at the start of the program. These tracks all have great paid opportunities to learn what it takes to do a real job within that given field. **Please note: career tracks, and specific job opportunities, are subject to availability with our community partners, and may change at any time.  


In partnership with the Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI), HealthFund, and Office of Economic Development (OED), SYEP is excited to offer our new nursing track for all of those that are interested in health care and the field of nursing.

  • Attend paid in-person and virtual labs and clinicals to prepare you for a career in nursing
  • Take the WA State NAC (commonly known as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license/certification
  • Participate in a pre-employment soft skills workshop, led by industry experts

IT/Software Development Pre-Apprenticeship

In partnership with Computing for All, SYEP will be offering career-connected learning in the technology field of software development/UX design.

  • Explore a wide range of tech careers
  • Earn pay while you learn game and web development, UX design, and client-side and server-side JavaScript
  • Work on real-world projects with skilled IT industry mentors
  • Visit companies and interact with local employers
  • Participate in a pre-employment soft skills workshop, led by industry experts 

Transportation Access and Climate Justice

Participate in the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Youth Transportation Ambassador Program. Learn more about community-centered education and engagement, while participating in real-life conversations and working on a project about access to transportation for communities of color. You will also learn about the impacts of climate change on our local landscape. **Please note: This track is only open to current high school students.

  • Understand the intersections of climate justice, transportation access and transportation equity
  • Become climate and transportation ambassadors in your community
  • Co-create and lead real projects implemented in Seattle and King County
  • Participate in a pre-employment soft skills workshop, led by industry experts.

Pathways Program Requirements and Eligibility:

  • Meet all SYEP standard application eligibility requirements
  • Have previously participated in SYEP Foundations, SYEP Learn and Earn (school year or summer) Programming 
  • Pass the Assessment of Skills
  • Interest and availability of sector track
  • Eager to learn and engage with program material and staff  

View Program Flyer

What is the Internship Program?

  • Land a six-week paid internship that matches your skills, career interests, and availability
  • Receive pre-employment training and work experience to aid in your professional growth and career exploration
  • Get professional support from a trusted mentor throughout the program
  • Gain practical experience to build your resume and potential connections to advance your career or education

Internship period is July 8 - August 15, 2024

  • 250 youth and young adults, ages 16 to 24, will be selected by lottery to participate.
  • Those selected will participate in in-person, virtual, or hybrid (depending on the needs of the employer) career readiness learning activities prior to internship start date.
  • Participants who complete all eligibility screenings will be invited to participate in our intake process. Those that make it through the intake process will be placed at six-week internships with City departments, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), or Private Sector employers.
  • Interns will be paid $19.97 per hour, unless otherwise communicated by the assigned employer.

Enrollment Process

SYEP prides itself in providing a holistic process for all people served. We strive to engage YOU in different ways, which helps us better understand who you are, what you are looking for, and how we can best serve you. Our enrollment process is a journey aimed at providing you with an experience that helps you understand what you are signing up for and providing you and us with enough information to make informed decisions!

Our process:

  1. Submit an application via the Youth Portal. (You will need to submit all eligibility documentation via the Youth Portal in order to successfully submit your application.)
  2. Sign up for an intake/placement interview with one of our dedicated staff members. You will receive an invite to sign up once your application has been fully verified by one of our dedicated staff members.
  3. Attend your interview. This is a semi-formal interview. More information will be provided at the time of the invite so you can best prepare!
  4. Accept your placement!* (Upon being offered a placement which is based on information provided at your interview, you will need to formally accept your placement by a certain date to secure your spot in the program.)
  5. Complete all post-placement onboarding requirements (submission of HR documentation; submission of testing documentation; completion of background check)

*Please note: due to availability, not all prospective applicants will be provided a placement into the program(s).

How to Be Successful During Your Intake/Placement Interview

We herald ourselves in creating a holistic process where everyone can bring their full selves and be able to be evaluated on the qualities that make an individual whole. We use our intake and placement process as a guiding tool to inform our decisions when deciding entry into our program(s). Below are some tips to help you be successful during the placement/intake process.

  • Be Responsive and On-Time: When receiving an invitation to meet with one of our dedicated staff members via an intake/placement interview, it is imperative that you select the best time that works for you and that you show up on time. This not only helps us plan for the time we will spend with you but also gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression—showing up on time and ready is what sets the tone for how we will engage with one another moving forward.
  • Treat This Like A Job Interview: Though you are not applying for a traditional job, per se, you are interviewing for a paid opportunity. When coming to the interview, you will want to make sure you are in the right space (with minimal distractions), have stable internet, wear presentable clothing, and come with a positive attitude. You may never know where this interview opportunity could lead—each staff member comes in with their own skillset as well as network; you may interview with someone that may want to introduce you to the CEO of Boeing.
  • Answer Questions Thoroughly: Provide as much detail as possible. This is our chance to get to know you and may be the first time we are interacting with you. Give us as much information as possible so that we can make an informed decision, as well as be able to advocate for you!
  • Practice: Even before an interview, you will want to ensure you practice. Though this may not be a very formal interview for a job, you will want to treat it as such. Take time to practice what you will say prior to the placement/intake interview. You may find interest in googling some common interview questions and noting what you might say to them.

View Employer FAQ

What We Are Looking For?  

Opportunities to support youth and young adults in their career journey by providing in-demand internship opportunities. Per our participant data, youth are looking for employment opportunities and experiences in some of the following career fields:  

  • Health Care 

  • Technology Industry  

  • Business Administration  

  • S.T.E.M.  

  • Public Sector  

  • Creative Arts  

Ways to Get Involved  

Host an Intern  

We have two types of internship opportunities we offer participants: Pathways and Foundations.

How to Apply  

  1. Submit An Interest Form via the Interest Form link, which will alert the SYEP Employer Engagement team of your interest and will initiate the application process.

  2. Register a user account in our Employer Portal. Once we receive your interest form, one of our staffers will send you a personal invitation to our Employer Portal, where you can create an account that will allow you to submit an application to host interns.  

  3. Submit a completed application through the Employer Portal and upload any required documentation in support of your completed application.  

After Submitting an Application 

The Employer Engagement team will review applications for completion. If we need of any additional information, we will reach out prior to our application deadline. Once the deadline has passed, we will begin our interview and matching process (April-early May) with the prospective interns.  

In early May, we will reach out to all prospective employer sites regarding their application status. Those that receive an intern will be able to then check in the Employer Portal (using your User Account login) and indicate how many youth have been placed and their contact information. If you have been selected to host an intern, you will follow the steps below for Internship Readiness.

Internship Readiness Steps:  

  1. Complete, sign, and submit the Agency Agreement Contract, Supervisor Agreement, and Background Check* all via our Adobe Sign webforms provided to you in the Next Steps e-mail.  

  2. Participate in a site visit where one of our dedicated staff members will review your completed, signed paperwork, go over logistics, and preview the space interns will be occupying.  

  3. Plan and share the work plan you envision for the intern(s). You can submit your workplan or first week plenary with your assigned SYEP staff member.  

  4. Attend all required site supervisor trainings hosted by the SYEP program team. 

Please note, as much as we would like to host every interested employing site, we cannot guarantee placement of interns at every site due to intern onboarding completion, intern removal or dropping from program and/or a limited number of interns or interest in a particular internship.

Facilitate as a Subject Matter Expert 

If you have an area of expertise that you would like to share with our program participants, we offer a Learn and Earn program during the fall to springtime during which we facilitate weekly workshops on career and job skill development. Some examples of workshops facilitated in previous cohort years and are of interest to our participants are:  

  • Entrepreneurship  

  • Financial Literacy  

  • Imposter Syndrome  

  • “A Day in the Life” (in a specific role) 

  • Healthy Relationships  

  • Code Switching  

  • Interviewing  

If there are any other ways you would like to support SYEP youth (e.g., mentorship, job shadowing), please reach out to our engagement team via e-mail:

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, you must:

  • be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old at the start of the program.
  • live within the Seattle city limits (click the link to verify) or attend a Seattle Public School or Seattle College (North, South, or Seattle Central).
  • live in a household with income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). See AMI table below.
# In Household 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Maximum Gross Yearly Income $77,700 $88,800 $99,900 $110,950 $119,850 $128,750 $137,600 $146,500

Please read all program requirements before applying. You will not be considered for the program if you do not meet all requirements, so please ensure that your application is accurate.

We have a list of acceptable documentation:

English | አማርኛ  |  Español  |  Oromiffa  |  af Soomaali  |  Tagalog  |  Tiếng Việt  |  简体中文 

All documents have been updated for July 2023. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at  

Frequently Asked Questions

You must be 16 years old before the start date of the program you are applying to. So, you may be 15 years old at the time you submit your application.

For our Learn and Earn: Foundations and Pathways Program, this is not a requirement to participate but to receive any compensation for participation (stipend) you will need a valid SSN or ITIN.

For our Internship Program, we require you to provide proof of authorization to work in the U.S. Without a SSN or ITIN, you will not be able to participate in the Internship Program.

Internships change every year. Internship development is an ongoing process and jobs are added frequently. We offer positions in office administration, information technology (IT), childcare, medical, restaurant, retail, construction, camp counseling, community art projects, and more!

We are always looking to create new relationships with companies and community organizations. Refer employers you know to our program.

  • Someone on the SYEP team should follow up with you within three weeks of your application submission regarding whether your application is complete (meaning you have submitted all required eligibility documents and they have been verified). To view next steps after you submit your application, view the Youth Applicant Pre-Program Checklist.
  • Additionally, our application is usually open for at least a month and since gathering eligibility documents and uploading it to our Youth Portal can be difficult for some, our SYEP staff provide support to applicants for at least a week after the application closes. This is why you may not hear from us for a while after the application closes but we will send you an email update when the next admissions phase begins!

Human Services

Tanya Kim, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA, 98124-4215
Phone: (206) 386-1001

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The mission of the Seattle Human Services Department is to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work and take part in strong, healthy communities.

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