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Mayor Bowser Highlights Pathways to Health Careers During Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program Launch

Monday, January 22, 2024
District Youth Ages 14 to 24 Are Encouraged to Apply for Work Experience Opportunities at

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) officially launched the application period for the 2024 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP). District youth between the ages of 14 to 24 and employers interested in hosting participants are encouraged to apply online beginning at noon today at

“For nearly half a century, the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program has played an important role in the lives of young Washingtonians. Applications open at noon today, and we want young people and their families submitting their applications as soon as possible,” said Mayor Bowser. “We also know that MBSYEP is successful because of the employers and organizations, like the Young Doctors Project, that partner with us and offer our young people fantastic summer experiences. We are grateful to the employers who partner with us every year, and we encourage employers who have never hosted to learn more about what it means to be a MBSYEP host and to submit their applications too.”
For 45 years, the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program has been providing a fair shot to young people in DC. Each year, the program provides thousands of District youth the opportunity to earn while they learn and explore potential career paths. The program partners with hundreds of employers to provide relevant training and guidance to DC’s youth to help them develop the positive work habits and skills necessary to secure future employment. Last year, over 14,000 youth participated in the program; 56% of last year’s participants were residents of Wards 7 and 8 and nearly 800 host employers offered youth summer employment opportunities. This summer, wages for the oldest age group will increase to $17.50/hour, in line with the District’s minimum wage.

The deadline to apply for MBSYEP is Wednesday, March 6. Selected youth will undergo six weeks of enriching and constructive summer work experience through subsidized placements in the private and public sectors. For employers interested in hosting District youth the deadline to apply is June 1. 

Important MBSYEP 2024 dates:

  • Application Opens: January 22 at Noon
  • Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, March 6
  • Certification Period Ends: Saturday, March 23 
  • Orientation Begins: Wednesday, April 17
  • Program Begins: Monday, June 24  
  • Program Ends: Friday, August 2

“We are thankful to all of our employer partners, who continue to show up for District youth and provide work experience opportunities that are helping shape our future workforce,” said Department of Employment Services Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “In the course of 45 years the MBSYEP has become critical in opening pipelines to engage youths and put them on a path for career longevity or further education.”

During the application launch event, participants from the Young Doctors Project spoke about their experience preparing for careers in health care during MBSYEP. The Young Doctors Project has been an MBSYEP partner for 10 years and has hosted 60 MBSYEP participants. Youth who participate in Young Doctors receive a year of medical training and learn how to perform blood pressure screenings, BMI and obesity measurements, vision exams, mental status evaluations, and other basic health screenings for pursuing a career in the medical field. After a year of learning preventive medicine, mental health, and health issues in underserved communities, the ‘young doctors’ begin a service-learning component of the program, which includes conducting free health clinics in the community under the supervision of staff doctors. The Young Doctors Project works alongside Howard University’s Department of Psychology and College of Medicine, including offering a 4-week Summer Health Academy to students where they are educated on the dietary and health risks challenging the Black community. Young Doctors DC has created a pipeline to health careers for adolescent boys of color in DC, with a particular emphasis on youth living East of the River.
MBSYEP remains the largest summer youth employment program per capita in the country. This year, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of MBSYEP, the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship award amount was increased from $2,000 to $4,500. The Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship supports MBSYEP alumni who are pursuing post-secondary education, occupational skills training, or military service. Additionally, five students who are pursuing a healthcare industry career will each receive a $20,000 scholarship toward their college education. So far, over $1.5 million has been awarded to 552 District youth. To learn more about the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship, visit

The MBSYEP application kickoff event took place at the Centers of Excellence at Howard University. The Mayor also announced during the event that applications for the HBCU Public Service Program will open on February 1. The HBCU Public Service Program is a partnership between District Government, Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia. The program was launched to help highly talented and qualified graduating college seniors pursue a career in public service. The program will be open for one-year to graduating seniors who are earning a bachelor’s degree. Participating DC Government agencies will convert existing and due-to-hire full time positions into apprenticeship positions for a total of 25 apprentices. Students can learn more about the HBCU Public Service Program and access the application starting February 1 by visiting
For more information and to apply to be a participant or host employer for MBSYEP, visit

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