Since 2015, DUSA has served as a partner in New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), providing employment and a service-learning program for hundreds of youth. This summer of 2017, DUSA has already seen amazing results. This year’s cohort is divided into Manhattan and Bronx groups, canvassing the communities of both boroughs. Hundreds of thousands of Dominican-Americans are still eligible for voter registration, and we hope to find them. Halfway through the program, the youth canvassers have already registered over 1,000 voters. We are also conducting educational workshops teaching our teens the importance of being college ready and assisting them in resume development. Our commitment to civic engagement is not limited to voter registration and citizenship assistance but also empowering our community.
The majority of the participants live in the Washington Heights and Harlem area in Manhattan and the South Bronx, and although they are mostly of Dominican descent, many are also of other Latino and African descent. Most are the first in their family to be born in the United States, who are either in high school or their early college years, so the importance of civic engagement is crucial to their progression. This cohort represents the rapidly growing population of teens in the United States we hope to empower. As we move into the upcoming elections, our initiative helps increase the political power we have as Dominicans and Latinos in general. Our goal is for this experiences to cultivate an incredible crop of young leaders who will forever remember their experience with DUSA and hopefully go on to become pillars of their community and examples of the entire nation.
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