Department of Employment Services

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Bowser Administration Celebrates Youth Day with the First Day of the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of Employment Services (DOES) celebrated “MBSYEP Day” as thousands of youth started their first day of summer employment. During the official kick-off for the 2019 Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP), Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed June 24 as “Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Day.”  The day recognizes the legacy of Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. and MBSYEP’s 40 years of success as the program connects young Washingtonians to job opportunities, empowers through self-development and encourages leadership and educational growth with year around programs that include the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI). The day also highlights the Bowser Administration’s partnerships with more than 700 employers and organizations that have supported MBSYEP through continued investment, including Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund).  

“The opportunities provided through the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program level the playing field as key partnerships, including with Citi Foundation, allows us to go further in preparing a pool of talented young people,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “Our partners know that youth are our future workforce and we must work together to provide them with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.”

As part of their Summer Jobs Connect initiative, Citi Foundation has provided $5 million in support to the CFE Fund to provide youth with summer jobs and access to financial education. CFE Fund. Citi Foundation’s contribution, along with the investment from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) total $1.75 million for MBSYEP. Since 2014, Citi Foundation’s Summer Jobs Connect has invested more than $28 million in summer youth employment, which has provided more than 13,000 youth from major cities including New York, San Francisco, Newark, St. Louis, Los Angeles and the District. In addition to summer work experience, youth have been able to gain access to financial education and appropriate financial service. 
“Summer jobs provide young people with the opportunity to develop workplace skills and gain experience managing their paycheck at an early point in their working lives,” said Florencia Spangaro, Director of Programs at the Citi Foundation. “Our continued collaboration with Mayor Bowser and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund will connect more young people in the District with a summer job experience for the fifth year. We’ve seen firsthand the impact on young peoples’ financial health when we incorporate financial education and banking access into an existing summer job program.”

With the investment from additional partners, MBSYEP has been able to evolve and provide participating youth with resources needed to succeed and given a fair shot towards financial independence and career and post-secondary opportunities. Continued investment towards MBSYEP ensures that participants receive transportation assistance, financial coaching and access to success coached and mentors to support them throughout the program. 

Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry, MBSYEP is a locally-funded initiative that provides District youth with six weeks of summer work experience through subsidized placements in the private and public sectors. The program partners with hundreds of DC employers who are uniquely positioned to provide relevant training and employment guidance to DC’s youth.
In 2015, Mayor Bowser expanded the program to include District residents ages 22-24. In 2017, the same year the expansion became permanent, 1,000 DC youth ages 22-24 earned more than $1.8 million in wages through the program. Many of these young people came from Wards 7 and 8, where unemployment rates and the opportunity gap are the highest. That same year, the program launched the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship, a pilot program designed to support MBSYEP participants in their post-secondary endeavors. Under the Bowser Administration, MBSYEP participants have received over $300,000 in scholarships for college, training, and military programs.

In 2018, nearly 11,000 young Washingtonians participated in MBSYEP, working more than 1.3 million total hours. In recent years, the program rolled out CareerEdge and JabaTalks, new technology platforms that allow participants to use their mobile devices to complete professional development sessions, practice job interviews and connect with employers. 
Today, MBSYEP is one of the largest summer jobs programs in the country and stands as a national model. The District has been recognized as one of the top cities for summer jobs by and

MBSYEP 2019 will begin on Monday, June 24, 2019, and will end on Friday, August 2, 2019. 

For more information about MBSYEP, visit
Social Media:


DOES Twitter: @DOES_DC
DOES Instagram: @DOES_DC
DOES Facebook:
DOES Website:


MBSYEP Instagram: @oypdc

MBSYEP Website: