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Essay For Ladders For Leaders

Ladders for Leaders is a nationally recognized program that offers high school and college students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies in New York City.  The program is an initiative of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and supported by the NYC Center for Youth Employment and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

Ladders for Leaders:  Ladders for Leaders gives studentrs a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through:

  • Pre-employment Training: Receive help with resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.  Learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette.
  • Paid Summer Internships:  Paid internship opportunities available in a variety of industries to accommodate student interests.
  • Opportunity to join our growing Alumni Network:  Broad network of alumni,  post-internship opportunities and networking events open to past participants of the program.

Who is Eligible?

  • Youth between the ages of 16-22 who are enrolled in high school or college
  • A minimum Grade Point  Average (GPA) of 3.00
  • Resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City
  • Anyone with prior work experience, either paid or volunteer
  • Legally allowed to work in New York City

Accepting applications now

Orientation is Friday, March 25th

For information, please call 718-449-5000 ext. 5 or email

Steven Prada
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at VP Records Distributors
St. Francis College

Finding Creativity in Any Industry

As a recent college graduate, my internship through Ladders for Leaders has taught me the skills I need to venture into my job hunt. At VP Records, I’ve found a way to marry my two majors, communications and writing, while learning how to be a professional in the media industry. I’ve learned that I can work in this industry without giving up my creative pursuits!

Aniyah Smith
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at space150
Fashion Institute of Technology

Finding Confidence in My Intellect

I’m so proud to have something like Ladders for Leaders in my life, to be able to say that I was in Ladders and got to experience amazing internships where I could grow professionally. space150 had so much confidence in my intellect and ideas—throughout the summer I felt supported and encouraged to be creative. Ladders really uplifted me and allowed me to find the confidence in myself that I’ll need throughout my career.

Stephanie Tan
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at Bank of America
University of Pennsylvania

Practicing Corporate Responsibility

My Ladders for Leaders internship at Bank of America strengthened my interests in banking and economics while teaching me about corporate responsibility. I’ve always had a strong interest in community service and social justice, so it’s inspiring to work for a corporation that really cares about the city. Now I know that I can work in finance while helping my community!

Eustacia Samuel
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at Abby Lichtman Design LLC
State University of New York College at Buffalo

Closer to Reaching My Dreams

Ladders for Leaders offered me a space to reflect on what I want for my future. I’ve gained a new perspective on my community by experiencing how hard people work every day to make ends meet and I learned how important financial responsibility is for reaching my career goals. Because of this experience, I’m seeing myself grow into the best person I can be and getting closer to reaching my dreams!

Hassan Williams-Kone
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Enforcement Division
Gettysburg College

Preparation for the Future

I’m really impressed by the diverse opportunities Ladders for Leaders offers; I’m interested in exploring a career in law enforcement, so Ladders helped me find an internship in the Enforcement Division at Department of Consumer Affairs. Without this experience, I would have never known about making connections within my field, or about how to represent myself as a professional. Now I feel ready to conquer college in the fall and meet my future with confidence and determination!

Geovanni Colon
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2017
Interned at the NYC Department of Design and Construction
Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School

More Than Meets the Eye

Ladders for Leaders helped me realize that there’s more to me than meets the eye. I’ve learned more about myself through advice and feedback from supervisors and peers. The program went beyond my expectations by helping me explore my talents in Information Technology field and pushing me to become the best person I can be.

Hiren Desai
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2008
Interned at KPMG
Current Title: Associate at KPMG

An Eye Opening Experience

My summer experience with the Ladders for Leaders program was an eye-opener and a turning point in my professional career development. This entire invaluable experience not only opened the door for me to rejoin KPMG six years later, but it taught me much about the various fields within the field of accounting.

Iman Childs
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2010
Interned at Y&R
Current Title: Training Coordinator at JPMorgan Chase

Stepping Stone to Success

My internship through Ladders for Leaders was the stepping stone that started my professional career. Coming into college with an internship from a well-respected company like Y&R helped ease my anxiety about getting an internship as an undergrad. I interned at Essence magazine after my sophomore year and felt prepared thanks in large part to the experience I gained through my Ladders for Leaders internship.

Michelle Sheu
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2014
Interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Macaulay Honors at Baruch College

Conquering the Unknowns

As a timid high school student with no idea what I’d study in college, Ladders for Leaders helped guide the way. Not only did the program teach me how to network, improve my public speaking and write a captivating resume, but L4L empowered me to chase my dreams. I was encouraged to leave my comfort zone and develop fundamental skills for any professional career. I got to intern at amazing organizations that I never believed possible for a high school student!

Kseniya Kosmina
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2015
Interned at the Shark Group
Provost Scholar at Zicklin School of Business

Best Summer Experience

I am very grateful for an opportunity to explore my options, intern, and develop as a professional because no other program provides all those opportunities. I wish and hope for more youth to learn and apply for SYEP and L4L because these programs leave a lasting impact and change lives.

Melvin Summerville
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2016
Interned at AOL
CUNY College of Staten Island

A Summer of Growth

My experience with the Ladders for Leaders program helped me in a great way. The pre-hand training had a strong emphasis on my career readiness and preparation, and it really helped me with understanding the culture of the work environment and how I could fit into it. During my internship, I was able to use what I learned to shape myself into a focused and goal-oriented individual who learned the way things work from those around him.

Amy Feng
Ladders for Leaders Class of 2016
Interned at Deloitte
Fordham University

One Step Closer

You really are climbing up ladders faster in Ladders for Leaders. Starting at level one, before we interviewed for our respective employers, we went through pre-employment training. The most important advice I took from these meetings was how to make the most of my internship. To do this, I had to come out of my shell and build my network because the people around you could possibly have a heavy impact on your journey to your career.