On Tuesday, May 8th, the Red Hook Community Justice Center hosted our 3rd Annual Youth Summer Internships and Jobs Fair at the Joseph A. Miccio/ NYCHA Community Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn! We opened our doors to over 200 young people between the ages of 14-24 from throughout Brooklyn, with a focus on Red Hook and southwest Brooklyn, in the hopes of providing young people with the chance to apply for paid and unpaid summer employment opportunities at the Justice Center, local businesses and non-profit organizations.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center began organizing the Summer Internship and Job Fair in response to high unemployment levels among local teens and their strong desire to find work during the summer. Estimates show that the teenage and young adult unemployment rate is substantially higher – about 30% - compared to the local unemployment rate of 9%. Finding summer jobs and internships is a rite of passage for our young people where they gain skills that have been shown to benefit their short-term academic goals and long-term professional careers. We want youth to gain experience and skills in professional fields, network, and help build their resume. Most importantly we want young people to occupy their time during the summer with positive experiences and opportunities.
Some of the many organizations who participated in the fair were Exalt, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, Hook Productions, Groundswell Mural Project, Department of Youth and Community Development, the 76th Precinct’s Youth Explorers program, Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez’s Office, the F.A.S.T. Track Program, and Lutheran Family Health Center Community Health Corps; all of which have a deep rooted commitment to the youth in Red Hook and neighboring communities. In addition to these organizations, the Red Hook Community Justice Center and Center for Court Innovation (CCI) also recruited for job and internship opportunities through their New York Juvenile Justice Corps Program (AmeriCorps), Red Hook Community Justice Center Summer Internship Program, CCI’s Youth Justice Board Program, and our partnership program from the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Youth Organizing to Save our Streets (Y.O.S.O.S.). Educational opportunities were also available, providing vital scholarship information for future high school graduates.