Along with the entire nation, young people in New York City had their lives turned upside down by the worst global pandemic in a century. And as the months of isolation wore on, a resurgent call for racial justice spread. In this historical context, NeON Summer NYC was launched to provide paid learning experiences, social connection, and opportunities for creative expression to some 2,700 New Yorkers between the ages of 14 and 24. These young people were selected from neighborhoods most affected by Covid-19 and those disproportionately impacted by the justice system.
When the pandemic hit and New York City school buildings were closed, young writers working with Youth Communication, a New York City non-profit dedicated to engaging young people through teen-written stories, continued to write. They turned their attention to their experiences during the pandemic, offering comfort to their peers who were experiencing similar struggles and helping adults understand what teens were going through during this difficult time.
A selection of these stories formed the basis for the six-week Social Emotional Learning program during NeON Summer NYC. The exercise helped youth talk, write, and process their own experiences, turning a stressful time into a significant learning opportunity and celebration of resilience.
My experience at NeON Summer I would say it’s entertaining ?? I love the energy everyone gives out it’s no problems as far as I know & people in my session just good vibes and chill.
I find my experience with NeON Summer program to be interesting. I have been in summer programs before, but this is the first time I've done it online. I find is fascinating to be able to connect with my peers all over NYC at the comfort of my home. Every day we discuss relevant topics.
My experience at NeON Summer is good. I’m meeting new people I ain’t expect everyone to talk, I thought it would’ve been a quiet Zoom call, but everyone is smiling everyone is happy to be on NeON every day and so am I. It has been a very good experience for me and I continue to grow every day that pertains to our life. The Open Choice Session is unique too. There are so many workshops out there; cooking classes, yoga, self-empowerment etc. I do miss being able to be in those classes psychically, but I gained the freedom to explore sessions I would not normally attend.
One thing I learned about NeON Summer was interview questions and job training. I actually got a job at Modell’s last week! Also everyone is good vibes and it’s nice to meet new people. And I love learning about photography.
My experience with NeON Summer has been good, I like how we are able to connect and learn during this pandemic. It’s also nice that my peers are actually engaged because it makes the experience more enjoyable.
I think this has been a great opportunity. I enjoy discussing the different topics with my peers and my facilitator.
NeON summer is lit. The two facilitators I had so far was good professionals and was able to understand and communicate well with us. I learned more on my computer tech things I do. One of the guests taught me a lot more that sparked old knowledge I’d forgotten. I'd say this photography class also taught me so much I can probably make a career if I wanted to, but tech is my thing.
So far the experience has been great. I’ve loved everyone's energy and i've gotten to meet new people even if it wasn't in person.
My experience in NeON Summer has been good. Something I enjoy is everyone’s energy and how most of us are comfortable/don’t fear to act themselves. Somet hings I’ve learned is certain ways to make photos more meaningful.
So far NeON Summer has been fun even though its online I feel like I’ve connected with so many people from different backgrounds. These people bring great energy every session and are open to discussion.