(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Bowser today awarded $150,000 to 75 District youth, ages 18 to 24, through her Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship program. For a second year, select youth in the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP), including DC Talent Leaders and Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute participants, received scholarships of either $2,000 or $3,500 toward their post-secondary education, occupational training, or a career in the military. Launched a year ago, the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship recognizes outstanding youth who demonstrate excellence and professionalism.
“This scholarship is one more tool we have for supporting our young people and recognizing the good work they’re doing as part of the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Mayor Bowser. “These programs are about building pathways to the middle class and providing young Washingtonians in every corner of our city with experiences and opportunities that will set them up for success.”
Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry, and expanded by Mayor Bowser in 2015, MBSYEP is one of the largest summer jobs programs in the country and stands as a national model. Host employers include area universities and schools, federal and local government agencies, major corporations, local businesses, hospitals, urban farms, and other community groups. Participants receive transportation assistance to travel to and from their worksites, financial literacy lessons, and have access to success coaches and mentors for support throughout the program. Additionally, MBSYEP offers professional development for young adults, Fire and EMS pre-cadet training, and a summer leadership program offered by the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute.
Since 2015, the Bowser Administration has taken steps to provide more District youth a fair shot at career opportunities in some of the nation’s high-paying, high-demand industries, including information technology and infrastructure. In March, the Administration launched the DC Talent Leaders initiative, a collective of employers working to expand the number of quality summer work experiences for District youth. Through this initiative, the Department of Employment Services has partnered with local, regional, and national businesses to prepare and expand a diverse pipeline of young adults for success in the workforce. DC Talent Leaders also supports and fosters unsubsidized internships for District youth while providing them with quality professional experiences.
This year, MBSYEP runs through August 3.