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EDITOR’S NOTE (4/4/23)This post has been updated with new opportunities from the Virtual Youth Service Summit, the Wooster Group Summer Institute, and the New York University Democracy Scholars Program. Additionally, details about the 2023 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) have been updated to reflect the program’s new application deadline on April 14, 2023.


Now that spring is here, opportunities are “budding” for NYC students across the five boroughs.

GIF of Linus from Peanuts as he is planting seeds in a tilled field alongside Snoopy and the yellow bird.

Throughout the rest of March and April, hundreds of organizations, including nonprofits, government agencies, and local cultural institutions, are seeking students for outstanding learning and work opportunities taking place this spring and summer. Thanks to organizations like the Brooklyn Public Library, the First Tech Fund, and the New-York Historical Society, NYC students have access to a range of outstanding work and learning experiences that can help them explore new interests, hone their talents and connections, and even make a little money on the side.

Below, you’ll find a list of opportunities available to City students throughout the rest of March and April 2023. Check out our list below, and click through the embedded links in each listing to learn more!

Opportunities for Students in March and April 2023

The opportunities listed below are ordered by their submission/registration deadline dates, with the most urgent deadlines listed first. For more information about any of these listings, please click on the links that are embedded in each entry.

Showcase Your Poetry and Prose in the Brooklyn Public Library’s Teen Writing Contest

For students in grades 6–12
Selected students will participate in writing celebration on June 12, 2023
Contact: Karen Keys

Deadline to submit works for consideration: March 31, 2023

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Teen Writing Contest is inviting City teenagers in grades 6–12 to submit and present their written works for consideration for the 2023 Ned Vizzini Teen Writing Prize, a cash award given in honor of Ned Vizzini’s literary legacy.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of Brooklyn Library’s young adult librarians for creativity, style, and voice.  Participants may submit no more than two items for consideration, and each item must adhere to the contest’s designated word limits of up to 500 words for poetry, and 2,500 words for prose.

To learn more, and to register for the contest, visit the Brooklyn Public Library’s Teen Writing Contest webpage.

But hurry; the 2023 Teen Writing Contest will stop accepting entries after March 31, 2023!

First Tech Fund High School Fellowship Program

For students in grades 10–12
Fellowship runs from September 2023–June 2024

Apply by April 1, 2023

The First Tech Fund is recruiting students for their free yearlong high school fellowship program. Fellows will participate in weekly virtual workshops around careers and foundational digital skills for the future, be eligible to receive free technology depending on their technology needs (laptop and/or WiFi hotspot,) and can opt into mentorship with a young professional.

Learn more and apply on the First Tech Fund Fellowship Program’s webpage.

Take Engineering Classes through the Cooper Union’s Summer STEM Program

For students in grades 9–11
Sessions run July 10–August 17, 2023, Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: Three-week classes = $1,950; six-week classes = $3,995 (financial aid available)

Apply by April 3, 2023

The Cooper Union Summer STEM program offers design and engineering classes for students who are either seeking to try engineering for the first time or are looking to dive deeper into engineering principles and practices. This selective program encourages all curious, compassionate, and college-interested students to apply regardless of prior engineering experience. Financial aid is available for applicants from low and middle income households, and there is even a separate internship program called Cooper Next Scholars that can be attained by students from low and middle income households who are applying to the six-week STEM program.

Students applying for the program will need to complete the online application (including the financial aid form, if applicable) and submit a recommendation letter along with it.

Please note that all participants in the program are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and proof of vaccination will be required on the first day of class.

To learn more and start your application, visit the Cooper Union’s Summer STEM webpage. Remember; the application closes on Monday, April 3, 2023 at 5 p.m., E.S.T.!

Two boys using a net to inspect growth from a local pond.

Through the DOE’s STEM Matters NYC program, City students in grades K–12 can apply for exciting summer learning camps located across the five boroughs—learn more about these FREE learning opportunities from our STEM Matters NYC webpage, and submit your online application by Wednesday, April 26, 2023!

Build the NYC of the Future through Minecraft Education Challenge’s 2023 Battle of the Boroughs

For students in grades K–12
Battle of the Boroughs events run April—June 2023
Contact: (for technical and Minecraft Challenge-related questions)

Submit your initial challenge entry on Flip by April 5, 2023

It’s time to CRAFT a better city!

Thanks to a partnership between Minecraft Education, C40’s Reinventing Cities initiative, and the NYC Department of Education, New York City’s K–12 students are all invited to use the power of Minecraft to help reinvent the City and make it the most inclusive, sustainable, future-ready urban environment in the world!

Through the Minecraft Education Challenge’s 2023 Battle of the Boroughsstudents will collaborate with teams of classmates (up to five members each) to build a space within Minecraft Education’s “NYCDOE Reinventing Cities” world that responds to the following prompt:

“How can we create a safe, connected, resilient, and sustainable borough that moves NYC forward without leaving anyone behind?”

Once participating students have finished their Minecraft build, they will need to record a walkthrough of their creation through Flip. These recordings will then need to be shared with adults at the school level who can ensure that every student involved in a Minecraft Education project at their school has obtained a signed media consent form. These adults will then upload students’ Flip recordings onto our official “Minecraft Education NYCDOE Minecraft Battle of the Boroughs Build & Team Submission” webpage.

To learn more about the 2023 Minecraft Battle of the Boroughs challenge, including rubrics, student guides for K–5 and grade 6–12 students, app guides, download links, and more, visit our official Minecraft Education webpage.

But hurry; time is running out to submit your Minecraft-ified vision for New York City—work with staff members at your school to upload your Flip walkthrough by April 5, 2023!

Become a Student Historian through an Internship at the New-York Historical Society

For students in grades 9–12
Internship runs July 11–August 17, 2023
Contact: Rachel Coons—(212) 873-3400, ext. 361

Application deadline: April 9, 2023

The New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) is accepting applications for its Student Historian Internship Program. Through this internship, students use N-YHS’ resources to conduct research and to share what they’ve learned through creative digital projects. Interns will meet with professional staff members to learn about careers available within the museum, library, and history fields. They will also work collaboratively with fellow students to develop their public speaking and leadership skills, and engage in hands-on work to deepen their understanding of American history. The theme of the internship is, “Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass’ America.”

In addition to a completed application, all applicants need to submit a teacher recommendation by the deadline.

To learn more about the internship, including application requirements and other information, visit the Student Historian Internship Program’s webpage, and submit your application by the deadline on April 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

Get a Paid Job This Summer Through SYEP

For NYC youth who will be 14–24 years old by July 3, 2023
Program runs 25 hours a week, July 5–August 18, 2023
Contact: SYEP Community Connect at (800) 246-4646

Deadline to submit applications is April 14, 2023

Discover new career possibilities this summer by signing up for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), the nation’s largest youth employment program. Through SYEP, City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 can get paid work experiences this summer in structured project and work-based opportunities that help prepare them for future careers in a variety of industries across the five boroughs. Participating students will be able to explore different interests, develop productive and positive workplace habits, earn paychecks, and engage in learning experiences that strengthen their social, civic, and leadership skills.

To be considered for placement within SYEP, students must submit an application by April 14, 2023. Once the application closes, students will be selected for SYEP by lottery. Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee an offer.

To learn more about SYEP, visit the Department of Youth and Community Development’s dedicated SYEP webpage. Note that students who are 14–17 years old must get an employment certificate, otherwise known as “working papers,” from their school. Visit our official “Working Papers” webpage to learn more.

Remember—the SYEP application closes on April 14, 2023—don’t delay; apply TODAY!

See What College is Like through New York University’s Democracy Scholars Program

For rising high school seniors (entering Grade 12 in fall 2023)
Residential program runs July 9–28, 2023 — Mentors remain available through May 2024
Contact: John J. Gershman

Deadline to submit applications is April 14, 2023

Are you a New York City high school junior on track to become a senior next year? Ever wanted to experience what learning is like in a college environment?

Thanks to New York University’s Democracy Scholars program, rising high school seniors have the opportunity to reside on NYU’s campus this summer for FREE and take college-level classes where they can explore relevant topics in political philosophy and social justice; experience college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking; and develop confidence in their academic and leadership capabilities. Participating students will be part of small discussion-based seminars led by NYU professors, and they will continue to meet as Democracy Scholars throughout the duration of their senior year for mentorship and support.

Only New York City residents are eligible to apply to this program, and preference will be given to first-generation college student applicants.

Visit NYU’s Democracy Scholars webpage to learn more about the program, and complete the online application by April 14, 2023, to be considered for placement!

Free Theater Camp from the Wooster Group Summer Institute

For NYC public school students, aged 12–17 years old
Program runs July 10–29, 2023
Contact: Clio Contogenis — (347) 306-2883

Deadline to submit applications is April 17, 2023

The Wooster Group Summer Institute is a free, three-week theater camp for City public school students, aged 12–17 years old, that provides opportunities to study movement, voice, acting, scriptwriting, and other aspects of performance. Participating students will also engage in creative, fun, and collaborative play, and they will even work closely with award-winning professional actors and directors to create an original performance for an invited audience.

No prior acting experience is required for this program, and lunch and daily MetroCards will be provided.

To learn more about the Institute, visit the Wooster Group’s website, and complete the 2023 Wooster Group Summer Institute Application form by April 17, 2023, to be considered for this opportunity!

Group of adults and young children standing on a beach near the water line. Pictured is a man in a red t-shirt holding open a garbage bag for a young child who is seen placing something into the bag.

NYC students can start making a difference in their communities by participating in some of the opportunities listed here this month, including Service in Schools’ Virtual Youth Service Summit, STEM Matters NYC’s Science Camps, and even the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). (Photo by Ron Lach. Original can be found on Pexels.)


Ask Your Teachers to Apply Now for the Service in Schools Virtual Youth Service Summit

For students in grades 3–5
Events will run May 31–June 12, 2023

Last day to apply is April 25, 2023

Are you an elementary school student in grades 3–5 who would like to learn how to make a difference in your community? Ask your teacher to apply for Service in Schools’ Virtual Youth Service Summit!

The Virtual Youth Service Summit aims to inspire students to help their communities through engaging service-learning lessons taught by high school student leaders. Each participating elementary school class will be matched with a small group of high school student leaders who will teach an interactive lesson on one of the following topics: animal welfare, disability rights, fast fashion and the environment, or housing and homelessness.

To learn more about the Virtual Youth Service Summit, visit Service in Schools’ webpage, and please encourage your teacher to complete an application on behalf of your class by April 25, 2023!

Add “STEM” to Your Summer Plans with Free and Exciting Science Camps

For students entering grades K–12 in September 2023
Weeklong camps scheduled July 10—August 18, 2023, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.

Submit your application by April 26, 2023

This summer, STEM Matters NYC is offering City students the chance to participate in exciting, hands-on, experiential STEM (science, technology, engineering, and/or math) programs taking place between July 10 and August 18, 2023. Available to students entering kindergarten through grade 12 in September 2023, STEM Matters NYC’s summer programs are a week long for K–9 students, while students in grades 10–12 are eligible to participate in one, two, or four-week programs. K–9 students will be selected via lottery, while students entering grades 10–12 will be considered for placement by a review committee.

If you are a student interested in animal science, aviation, marine biology, mechanical engineering, ecology, and other science fields, make sure you take advantage of this fun opportunity! To learn more about these free summer enrichment programs and to download flyers in multiple languages, visit STEM Matters NYC’s webpage.

Don’t wait around, because spots are limited—submit your application by Wednesday, April 26, 2023!

Be a Part of the Solution Through the NYPD Youth Leadership Council

For students in grades 9–12
Meetings take place weekly; dates/times vary by precinct
Contact: John Park

Registration closes June 2023

Join your local NYPD precinct’s Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and build up your leadership skills while earning community service hours. Once selected, you’ll be working in partnership with Youth Coordination Officers to complete an action project meant to strengthen your local community.

NYPD YLC meetings are held weekly, and the time and location for these gatherings ultimately depend on which precinct you reside in.

To apply and join an NYPD YLC, visit the 2022–23 YLC Youth Application webpage, scroll down and select “NYPD” in the dropdown field, and input your information—once done, an NYPD officer on behalf of your precinct will follow-up with you via email and formally invite you to their YLC!

Join the Global Youth Economics Forum

For students in grades 9–12
Meetings held monthly

Ongoing deadline—Register online to get started

Originally founded by an NYC public high school student in 2020, the Global Youth Economics Forum (GYEF) is a program for high school students interested in economics, business, banking, consulting, finance, and related fields. GYEF organizes monthly events featuring professionals, professors, entrepreneurs, seasonal competitions in investing, essay writing, and quizzes, a free college mentorship program, and much more.

Learn more and complete the GYEF application form online to start participating in this organization.


For more opportunities like these, check out our official Student Opportunities page every once in awhile, and subscribe to The Morning Bell below! Also, don’t forget to share this post with your friends and colleagues—this may have just been the “thing” they’ve been looking for!

Have an opportunity available that you would like to share with City students and families? Consider submitting your info to us online!

On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish all of our students a wonderful learning experience both inside and outside the classroom!

Banner photo by Max Fischer. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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