For a More Equitable City, Provide More Mentorship Opportunities for Youth

Investing in mentorship is not just a moral imperative. It is a wise business decision. Bringing in young people disrupts group think, provides a diversity of opinions, develops our future workforce, and yields economic benefits.’

Adi Talwar

A youth internship workshop hosted by the city in 2018.

Over a year after the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the Empire State, the city’s under-represented youth continue to bear the brunt of this radically unequal recession. Largely caused by a history of inequity and lack of inter-generational mobility that exists due to systemically segregated communities, youth face an opportunity gap in access to upwardly mobile careers. Faced with learning loss and the negative impacts of isolation, they are set to experience significant delays developing social-emotional skills and accessing social capital critical to career growth.

Having worked for more than 25 years in New York City’s youth and workforce development spaces, I can attest that what is missing from the current systems to make the city more equitable is mentorship. 

It’s evident— the success of New York’s future leaders depends on commonsense policies that can amass bipartisan support and leverage our connections to one another to benefit young people. A mentorship initiative with incentives for business participation will accomplish what is needed. The value of these connections between generations of New Yorkers is a core component for our city’s economic recovery. 

City Limits