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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

Applications are currently Closed!

The application period for the 2022-2023 Foundations and Pathways Program has closed. Check back later to apply for our upcoming Internship program!

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 or emailing SYEP@seattle.gov. Interpretation services are available.

What is the Seattle Youth Employment Program?

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

  • Learn & Earn Programs (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: Young people are placed in structured, paid work settings within city departments and local nonprofit agencies to apply their knowledge, gain hands-on experience, develop professional connections, and build their resume.

Learn More:

Two interns in blue hospital gowns are shown preparing a bed in a patient room

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  

Two interns in blue hospital gowns are shown preparing a bed in a patient room

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.  

Nursing

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 
    OR
  • Pass the Assessment of Skills
  • Interest and availability of sector track
  • Eager to learn and engage with program material and staff  

Three interns show off freshly picked, locally produced vegetables

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 9 - August 16, 2022

  • 400 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 screening and career readiness programming will be placed at six-week internships with City departments and participating non-profit organizations.
  • All interns will be paid $17.74 per hour.

Visual map of recent SYEP program history and highlights

View Employer Flyer

Would you like to Host an Intern?

SYEP seeks to build a workforce of the future by providing youth access to paid internships with Seattle's top employers and labor organizations, as well as access to high-quality pre-apprenticeship training.

You will coach and mentor your intern, track their work hours, and support interns in learning workplace skills. Your internship may be their first work experience.

Enhanced Interactions is honored to have worked with seven SYEP interns this summer. Our interns developed skills and knowledge around social media marketing, website design, and administrative duties. Most importantly, they participated in our delivery of the Positive Intelligence Program to learn how to increase their mental fitness and experience immediate and sustained improvements in both their well-being and performance.  We are looking forward to hosting SYEP interns next year. --ShaConda Nelson, Enhanced Interactions

This summer we had the pleasure of sharing an opportunity with Abdiwahid Bishar Hajir (one of SYEP’s youth). With his support, he accomplished creating a functional advocacy website to support our initiatives for outreach programming and youth resourcing; and "from scratch." We would be happy to continue or have Abdi back for the next cycle of the program. His exemplary work has encouraged our board and organization to seek more youth to support our initiatives in a direct format. --Jay Cammon, Be the Blessing Foundation

A Youth Development Counselor (YDC) will be assigned to your site and will be available to assist in resolving issues and developing strategies for improvement. Your YDC will also support you and your intern by monitoring intern experiences, ensuring timesheets are completed, and answering questions related to SYEP policies and procedures. We will support you to resolve challenges as they arise.

If you are interested in participating, please email us at

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 Gross Yearly Income
1 $66,750
2 $76,250
3 $85,800
4 $95,300
5 $102,950
6 $110,550
7 $118,200
8 $125,800

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

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.

We process applications as they are received. You will hear back once your application has been reviewed and processed. We may have questions or need more information, so please regularly check your portal account and/or email address for any messages.  

You will receive a message by email. You can also login to your portal account to check your status online.

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.

We have a list of acceptable documentation:

English | አማርኛ  |  Español  |  Oromiffa  |  af Soomaali  |  Tagalog  |  Tiếng Việt  |  繁體中文 

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at SYEP@seattle.gov.  

Human Services

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

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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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