Internships for high school and college students

NYC Ladders for Leaders | NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

Work Teen Young Adult

The program offers paid professional summer internships to high school and college students. Employers include leading companies, non-profits, and government agencies in New York City. The program also provides job support and prep.

  • Applications open in late January or early February each year.
  • Internships usually start the first week in July. Students work a minimum of 25 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • If you are under 18, you must have working papers to take part.
  • The program also helps with pre-employment training, workplace readiness skills, and career and college exploration.
  • After the program, students can join a broad network of alumni, post-internship opportunities, and networking events open only to past participants.

Who is eligible

You may be eligible if you can answer yes to these questions.

  • Do you live in New York City?
  • Are you currently enrolled in high school or college?
  • Are you between 16 – 22 years old?
  • Do you have previous work experience (even as a volunteer)?
  • Do you have a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00?
  • If you are under 18 years old, do you have your working papers?

What you need to apply

You do not need to submit documents with your application. You will only need to submit documents if you are selected to participate in the program.

You will need to provide the following unexpired documents:

Proof of who you are

One of the following:

  • School ID
  • City, state, or government-issued ID, such as a NYS driver license, learner’s permit, passport, or IDNYC

Proof of your age

One of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Benefit card
  • NYS Driver license/learner’s permit
  • Non-citizen (alien) registration card
  • U.S. Passport

Proof of where you live

One of the following, dated in the last 6 months:

  • Home utility bill
  • Lease, mortgage, or deed
  • Cable bill (must have phone service listed)
  • Official mail from a Federal, State or City Agency

Proof of work eligibility

Youth 16 and 17 years old will need to provide their working papers.

In addition, all youth will need to provide one of the following:

  • Report card (dated within the last 6 months )
  • Official school transcript
  • NYS Driver license/learner’s permit
  • Voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military card/draft record

Proof of school status

One of the following:

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official college transcript
  • Unofficial college transcript with a copy of your college ID

Proof of citizenship status

One of the following:

  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • Alien registration card
  • I-94, I-551, I-797
  • Certificate of naturalization
  • Employment registration card

Proof of your family’s income

For each income source of each income earner and dated in the last 6 months, any one document:

If supported by Public Assistance:

  • Current EBT Card (with parent/guardian name) AND a recent store receipt
  • Current Benefit Budget/SNAP Letter
  • Official letter from Social Services (Must include applicant’s name, Benefit #, and date)

If not supported by Public Assistance:

  • Two (2) consecutive pay stubs dated within the last six months (Must include payee name, and gross income)
  • 2021 W-2 form and one (1) pay stub dated within the last six months
  • Current Pension Award letter
  • Current SSA Award letter
  • Unemployment Benefit Document dated within the last six months
  • If self-employed, 2021 Tax Return including Schedule “C” or “E” (if receiving rental income)

Proof of social security number

  • Social Security Card

Proof of Selective Service registration (for males 18 and older)

One of the following:

  • Record of online registration (
  • Online receipt

Proof of disability status (if applicable)

One of the following:

  • Proof of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Statement from medical professional
  • Other official documentation for ACS, HRA, your school stating you have a disability

How to apply

  • Apply to Ladders for Leaders in late January / early February.
  • The application for Ladders for Leaders is only available during the application period.

How to get help

  • Visit the DYCD website to learn more.
  • Call DYCD Community Connect at 800-246-4646 (Monday – Friday 9 a.m – 5 p.m) if you have questions about this program.

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Updated March 4, 2022