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Mayor Bowser Launches Application Period for 2021 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

Friday, January 29, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser officially launched the application period for the 2021 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) and encouraged District youth between the ages of 14 and 24 and interested employers to apply online at Applications will be accepted until Saturday, February 27, 2021.

“For over four decades, the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program has enriched nearly half a million young Washingtonians with valuable work experience that put them on a path to success,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are proud to keep that strong tradition going by implementing another year of virtual summer employment, which will provide thousands of District youth life-changing pathways to career exploration.”

In 2020, MBSYEP launched its first virtual program providing six weeks of work experience for approximately 9,000 youth. MBSYEP utilized the CareerEdge platform to allow participants to use their mobile devices to complete professional development sessions, practice job interviews and connect with employers.

Last year, youth were able to participate in a variety of new programs such as the Public Safety Initiative, where 100 participants East of the River were provided employment, mental health awareness, increased civic responsibility, and financial literacy training. MBSYEP participants tutored school-aged youth providing refreshers on curriculum from the current school year to bridge the gap between distance and in classroom learning and help prepare youth for the next grade level. In partnership with On-Ramps to Careers, MBSYEP developed a new call center for youth, ran by youth, providing first-hand training in techniques and help desk operations. Through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, MBSYEP offered online Microsoft Suite training courses where participants received nationally recognized credentials.

This year, MBSYEP continues its partnership with the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) agencies - the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and a new partnership with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Nearly 100 MBSYEP participants will have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience in the financial regulatory industry. The FIRREA agencies have expanded their intern cohorts to 11 DC high schools—Eastern, H.D. Woodson, Anacostia, Ballou, Caesar Chavez, Columbia Heights, Roosevelt, Cardozo, Ron Brown, Dunbar, and McKinley Tech.

“We are thankful to all of our employer partners, who are critical to the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program in exposing young Washingtonians to the world of work,” said DC Department of Employment Services Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “It is through continued investments and strong partnerships that we prepare youth for economic independence and provide them the tools and resources necessary for career advancement.”

In 2015, Mayor Bowser expanded the program to include District residents ages 22-24. In 2017, the program launched the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship, designed to support MBSYEP participants in their post-secondary endeavors. To date, more than 250 recipients of the scholarship have received nearly $600,000 for college, training, and military programs.

Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry, MBSYEP is a locally funded initiative that provides young people in the District with six weeks of enriching and constructive 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 guidance to DC’s youth in order to help them develop the positive work habits and job skills necessary to secure future employment.

Today, MBSYEP is the largest summer youth employment program per capita 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 2021 will begin on Monday, June 28, 2021 and will end on Friday, August 6, 2021.

For more information about MBSYEP, visit