Teen Programs 

Teen Centers

Since 1914, PAL has been serving New York City’s youth with safe, structured programming designed to engage boys and girls in positive activities. PAL’s Teen Centers offer youth, ages 13 through 19, a safe haven to positively interact with their peers and adult role models.

Activities include open-gym, structured intramural leagues, computer labs, game-room and dance. Many sites also include academic enrichment opportunities through book clubs, SAT and Regents prep, and individual tutoring.

Life skills workshops explore topics such as job readiness skills, financial literacy, pregnancy prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, current events and open rap sessions. Many sites offer teen councils and other opportunities for community-based service learning projects. Throughout the year off-site trips include sporting events at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, amusement parks and college tours.

Teen Centers operate 3-5 nights per week and typically run 6:30-9:30pm. Registration is free. For days, hours and activities offered please contact your local PAL Teen Center.

For additional information on Teen Centers please contact:

April Okpwae
Field Director, Teen Programming
Tel: (212) 477-9450 Ext. 342   

Summer Youth Employment Program

Each summer, in partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) PAL provides youth, ages 14-24 with employment opportunities throughout New York City. The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides six weeks of paid employment during July and August. Entry level jobs give youth work experience in either public or private sector worksites. For many youth, these summer jobs are their first experience in the workforce.

In addition to the six weeks of paid employment, participants attend workshops on job readiness, career exploration and financial literacy. PAL employed over 1,700 youth during the summer of 2015.

2016 SYEP applications were released online in March. Applicants MUST be entered into the online lottery before the designated DYCD deadline to be eligible for selection. For households without computer access, paper applications may be submitted in person at select PAL sites.

Please be aware that selection in the lottery does not guarantee employment. Upon selection, youth must provide copies of the various documents required by DYCD including, but not limited to: valid working papers if under age 18, photo ID, proof of address, and a social security card.

For more information, please contact:

Myshanda Parks
SYEP Program Coordinator
(718) 947-7641


PAL’s In-Step program (In School Training & Employment Program) is a college prep/workforce development program that prepares high school students for a successful transition from high school to college. In addition, students are taught work readiness skills through paid internships.

In-Step participants attend weekly leadership & life-skills workshops while maintaining a strong focus on graduation and college selection. Academic assistance is offered through SAT & Regents prep and individual tutoring. Participants attend numerous college tours throughout the year both locally and out of state, and learn to identify applicable college scholarships, with many In-Step graduates securing partial or full scholarships.

Paid internships placements in the past have included local governmental offices, colleges and hospitals, and major retail establishments. In-Step participants have a 100% high school graduation rate, with over 85% attending college in the fall semester.

Currently, In-Step operates in the Jamaica section of Queens and the Fordham section of The Bronx.

For more information, please contact:

Madonna Donaldson
Program Manager
(718) 947-7640 Ext. 7645

Work Learn and Grow

The Work, Learn & Grow (WLG) employment program is a newly funded NYC Council initiative designed to give participants of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) an opportunity during the school year to continue to build off of the skills and experience acquired during the summer.

WLG provides select participants of the SYEP, ages 14-24, with career readiness training and paid employment for up to twenty-five weeks between October and April.

To be eligible, youth must have been enrolled in the prior SYEP cycle and be currently enrolled in school. If youth meet those two criteria they are welcomed to submit an application to be entered into a lottery. If selected, participants are placed in an entry level job in a wide array of areas including: government agencies, hospitals, non-profits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sport enterprises and retail establishments.

WLG career readiness trainings focus on topics such as career exploration, financial literacy, conflict resolution, resume/cover letter writing and opportunities to further education and social growth.

During the pilot 2015/2016 season, PAL worked with over 200 youth in the WLG program.

For more information, please contact:

Myshanda Parks
SYEP Program Coordinator
(718) 947-7641