Mayor Marion S. Barry’s 2022 Summer Youth Jobs Program Marks the End of its 43rd Year and Tops $1.2 Million in Scholarships

(Washington DC) – Today, the Bowser administration closes the 43rd year of the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) with the awarding of Mayor’s Scholarships to deserving young participants. Administered by the Department of Employment Services (DOES), MBSYEP provides young people in the District of Columbia with their first job and has awarded more than $1.2 million in Mayor’s Scholarships since 2017.

“The Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program is a District legacy program and a passion project for Mayor Bowser. The District is proud to partner with local businesses to provide unique and memorable experiences for our local youth,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “The majority of our participants are black and brown youth and will likely work for a minority-owned business during their summer employment experience. It allows them to see like-minded leaders leading teams and companies. August is Black Business Month, and we find it quite fortuitous that our annual program ends at a time when we celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Black business owners across the District and the country.

Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry and expanded in 2015 by Mayor Bowser to include youth ages 14-24, MBSYEP is a locally funded initiative that provides district youth with six weeks of work experience in been through subsidized private placements. and the public sectors. The program partners with hundreds of district employers who provide training and work opportunities for DC youth to develop job skills and other educational and employment opportunities.

MBSYEP 2022 was funded to provide 14,000 district youth with the opportunity to earn a living while learning and exploring potential career paths. MBSYEP partners with local organizations and businesses that provide young people with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in various industries in the city. This year, the program will award $265,000 in Mayor’s Scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $3,500 each for young adults ages 18-24, who have successfully graduated from high school or equivalent, have participated in MBSYEP 2022 and are enrolled in post-secondary education. education or vocational training or the military.

As part of Mayor Bowser’s FY23 budget, $21 million was allocated to increase the salaries of training program participants in all DOES programs, including MBSYEP. The budget also includes $3.4 million to help small and medium-sized businesses grow and $500,000 to increase employer spending on minority-run businesses. Local black-owned businesses, especially east of the Anacostia River, have benefited greatly from MBSYEP and the expansion of funding to hire employees. Some MBYEP youth also participate in the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI), a year-round program founded in 1979 and designed to train DC youth with leadership and professional development tools. The MBYLI training model emphasizes hands-on experience and a holistic approach to developing 21st century leaders.

MBSYEP continues to be the largest youth summer employment program per capita in the country and stands as a national model. The district has been recognized as one of the best cities for summer jobs by Forbes and WalletHub. For more information on MBSYEP, please visit

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) is the district’s primary workforce development agency and is responsible for providing district residents with essential employment readiness and skills training services. To learn more about the apprenticeships, programs and services offered at DOES, visit Where

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