15-16 years

Tips, Tricks & Resources

What to Expect

Watch your teen continue to develop their own unique identity! This is an important time to help them prepare for more independence and responsibility. Encourage them to think about finding a summer job and explore options for life after high school. Make sure they enroll in IDNYC and take advantage of the free museums and other discounts offered by the program! Learn more below.



A free City ID card


NYC Human Resources Administration

IDNYC can often be used as an official ID for all New Yorkers age 10 and over.

Pre-high school equivalency (HSE) prep

Advance & Earn

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

Youth increase reading and math skills to take high school equivalency tests and get job training, certifications, and paid internships.

Leadership opportunities for youth

NYC Youth Leadership Councils (YLC)

NYC Service

On YLCs, youth take action in their communities by shaping policy and practice and leading plans for change.

Paid summer experiences for youth

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

SYEP provides youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer experiences for up to six weeks.


Development continues through adolescence and into adulthood! The following milestones highlight your teen's growth during this exciting time.

What most 15 - 16 years olds do at this age:

  • Social

    • Have early work experience
    • Show more independence from parents/caregivers
    • Show more willingness to share and develop more intimate relationships
  • Communication

    • May seem moodier that usual and use harsh language when communicating
    • Begin to express more interest in moral issues
  • Learning

    • Learn more defined work habits
    • Show more concern about future school and work plans
    • Give clear reasons for their own choices, including about what is right or wrong
  • Physical Development

    • Show visible signs of puberty
    • Use deodorant
    • Become more aware of sexuality
  • Health

    • Have 6 to 8 ounces of grains daily
    • Have 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables daily
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily
    • Have 3 cups of milk daily
    • Have 5 to 6 ounces of meat and beans daily
    • Have 1 hour of physical activity each day
    • Sleep about 8 - 10 hours per day

As your teen transitions into adulthood, look out for signs they may be at risk or troubled, including if they:

    • Are too overweight or underweight
    • Express a lack of self-worth or talk about suicide
    • Show a change in appetite, weight, or eating behaviors; these may signal an eating disorder