NeON Summer 2020

NeON Summer 2020 What we did during the pandemic...

Overview  |  Inside Voices  |  Topics  |  Testimonials

Check out the 2020 NeON Summer NYC magazine: A collection of stories, reflections, poetry and photos created by NYC youth!

Download the NeON Summer NYC Magazine

In 2020 Mayor Bill de Blasio Announced NeON Summer

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.

Inside Voices: Helping Youth Cope During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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.

Topics include:

  • Dealing with disappointment
  • Making responsible decisions around
  • Protecting yourself and others
  • Fighting discrimination
  • Managing stress
  • And more


An image with the logos for the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) and Young Men's Initiative (YMI)