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Kids thrilled for summer employment City program has 19,000 applicants, only 350 slots

Anthony Saunders, 15, looked sharp in a business suit and ready to work as he waited in line to learn of his job assignment at the Police Athletic League (PAL) Wynn Center on Tuesday.
“I hope I get a job working with kids or interning at a law firm,” he said. “I want to be a criminal defense lawyer because I like to defend people.”


Saunders was one of about 350 young people ages 14-24 who stood in a line around the corner from the center at 495 Gates Avenue to find out where they are working under the city’s Summer Youth Employment program.
PAL Director of Youth Employment Tamara Chalvire said the 350 were chosen from over 19,000 applicants through a lottery system.
“My twin brother and I both signed up on the computer, but he wasn’t picked in the lottery,” said Saunders, adding that both he and his brother worked at the Billie Holiday Theater in Restoration Plaza last summer.
Chalvire said the PAL is just one of several nonprofits contracted out by the city to place youths in summer jobs. Pay is $7.25 per hour for 25 hours per week for the seven-week program, she said.
Chalvire said the PAL places the kids in jobs at hospitals, clinics, NYPD precincts, PAL Centers and playschools in playgrounds.
Sometimes the city comes up with a little more money and we can place more kids, she said.
Shanae Avis, 17, a senior at Sheepshead Bay High School and who lives in Brownsville, said she was glad she was picked in the lottery.
“I’d like to work in a hospital,” she said, “because I want to be a doctor.”

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