You never know what treasures you will find until you step out of your office to mingle with other businesses, organizations, and people in your community. Dr. Roy Hastick of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CACCI) always says “Networking Works.” It was during one of CACCI’s very engaging meetings that District 40 Council Member Dr. Eugene Mathieu reminded us of one of New York City’s (NYC) oldest treasures, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

At first glance, it may seem most apparent that SYEP is a valuable asset for youths because it provides up to six weeks of paid work experience for the City’s residents, ages 14 to 24 years old. Businesses are able to increase youth career awareness and shape the workforce of the future. However, the exceptional value gained by the worksites is what may not be as apparent. These participants, not only, step into a variety of entry-level positions, but they also FOLLOW, LEAD, and INNOVATE.


While supervising and guiding additional workers may seem like a daunting task for some entrepreneurs or small businesses with one or two employees, the process is not to be feared. Businesses, large or small, should take this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Ashalla Design Shop, LLC was privileged to work with two SYEP placement sites this summer Medgar Evers College and CAMBA.  These two placement sites were assigned during our initial online worksite request application process. It is a web-based enrollment system on the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) website.

The program has a variety of placement sites throughout the City with very organized and passionate staff members. With over 50 placement sites throughout the five boroughs, there are plenty of opportunities for applicants to be chosen from. Placement sites range from community-based organizations to government offices. Some placement sites give their worksites the opportunity to interview their potential summer employees beforehand. Allowing the worksite to conduct interviews helps to ensure businesses receive the help they are looking for.

The placement site directors guide the worksites on employing these new hires. They advise on topics like “setting the ground rules from day one”, “how to effectively fill out time sheets”, and “how to handle emergencies”. The placement sites did an excellent job of preparing Ashalla on what to expect and how to have a successful summer with its participants.


left to right: Alex Gibbons (SYEP), Dianne Campbell (Business & Marketing Officer), Tiffany Farrell (SYEP), Natasha Brewer (SYEP), KimShala Hibbert (Founder & Principal Designer), Corey Francis (SYEP)


As a company committed to the prosperity of other businesses in the community, Ashalla would be remiss not to share this gem with others. Ashalla was able to accommodate 4 bright young adults who worked on a variety of projects for the company.


“Now that the SYEP program is coming to a close, it will be sad to see them go. So we decided to take the next step and hire.”
KimShala Hibbert, Founder and Principal Designer

” Ashalla Design Shop was an amazing place to work. It showed my true potential in designing and branding; and got me the opportunity to be offered a part-time position here!”
Tiffany Farrell, Junior Designer

“The SYEP program always provides me with great summer jobs. It’s a good way for me to work during the summer as well as make professional connections.
Alex Gibbons, Client and Partner Relations.


All businesses should take the opportunity to host at least one SYEP participant, as they will make a lasting impact on your business. Likewise you will play a very important role in their career and professional development.

The SYEP participants scripted, recorded, and edited a video on how to express a perfect pitch. Having an elevator pitch prepared is essential in world of business. 


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