Photo by Rowa Lee Photo by Rowa Lee

Teens

High Line Teens is a paid employment opportunity for local youth (approximately ages 15 to 19) focused on skills-building and leadership development through civic engagement, arts and culture, ecological horticulture initiatives, public programs, and strategic partnerships. Teens gain professional skills and hands-on experience as critical practitioners, while building connections with other teens in public spaces throughout the city.

High Line Teens is a paid employment opportunity for local youth (approximately ages 15 to 19) focused on skills-building and leadership development through civic engagement, arts and culture, ecological horticulture initiatives, public programs, and strategic partnerships. Teens gain professional skills and hands-on experience as critical practitioners, while building connections with other teens in public spaces throughout the city.

Meet the Teen Staff

Brandon

“I want to make a difference through my work with the High Line and outside this job by spreading awareness about different social justice issues that are important to me and my community, and by trying to get others involved to help make change in a world that so desperately needs it.”

Christian

“I am most looking forward to collaborating with other teens from all parts of New York City. This year I intend to learn more about the people and places beyond my community and from around the entire city.”

Bria

“I think it is amazing that high school students are given the opportunity to plan, create, and educate on such a huge platform in New York City.”

Lyla

“This position is a large safe space to grow with others and become more educated on managing a job and a commitment.”

Yisel

“I want to make a difference through my work with the High Line and outside of this job by helping start these hard conversations and help create a safe space for everyone to feel included and heard regardless of their perspectives.”

Javier

“I wanted to work on the High Line because it sounded like a really great experience to make decisions with other teens for things that can potentially have a huge impact on the community around us.”

Padmavati

“I get to work with a diverse group of youth that live or go to school within the community to create an event or build a project together, which gives me the sense of what it means to accomplish an idea by bringing it to life.”

Tapuwanashe

“Even though my peers and I are young, there is so much that we can do to help communities and fight for change. For starters, spreading information about environments and people in danger, educating ourselves about important issues in the world, and using our time at the High Line to hold tough—but important—conversations are all great methods.”

Favour

“I believe young people can make an impact on their community and the world by seeing issues and realizing that we have a say in them. The world is for everyone and, as the next leaders, it is our responsibility to advocate for a better world. We should be choosing paths that have the best impact for everyone.”

Fatoumata

“I would love to make a difference in my community by showing first-generation Americans that it’s very possible to take the little that our parents could have given us and turn it into something that we never could have imagined. We were raised with values like hard work, respect, and getting up when life keeps kicking you down.”

Benjamin

“To create change through this position at the High Line and beyond, I plan to speak my mind and be unapologetic about it.”

Sarah

“I want to make a difference by being my authentic self and contributing to the change we want to see in the world today.”

Steve

“Young people can make a difference in their communities and the world at-large by starting off young and getting involved in different events, projects, and organizations that their community has to offer.”

Thalia

“I immediately felt at home with the High Line staff, and everyone made me feel like I really belonged. I am so excited to see where networking and building friendships with my peers takes me in these next years.”

Kymberli

“When it comes to the world at-large I think the teens are the ones who can make this coming generation start to repair some of the stuff the older generations did.”

Shelby

“I hope to learn more about the High Line, who it is serving, and how it can better serve underrepresented groups.”

Malakai

“Activism and speaking up for myself and others has always taken the forefront in my life.”

Niesa

“I hope that this year we get to make a difference in our community with everything that happened last year.”

Narelyn

“I believe that even the smallest projects can make the biggest difference and can start the ripple effects for change.”

Jessica

“Outside of work with the High Line, I want to work to help combat health disparities that exist in communities where access to quality health care is limited.”

 

About High Line Teens

We hire teens who have relationships with the neighborhoods surrounding the park, and who either live in the area or attend schools nearby. We prioritize true diversity, in cultural background, socioeconomic status, and life experience. Our teen staff together work more than 4,500 hours a year, exploring skills-building opportunities available through the High Line and the High Line Network, ranging from horticulture to public art. We also provide ongoing mentorship and networking support to staff and alumni.

You can follow High Line Teens on Instagram.

To learn about getting involved, contact us at teens@thehighline.org.

 

Public Programs

Each year, all teen staff engage in critical leadership development activities, including designing a suite of public programs that explore the various themes, ideals and practices present on the High Line. Public programs can range from small, socially distant materials-based workshops free and open to anyone on the park, to large-scale public festival-style events whether on screen or in person. During the program, teens gain hands-on experience as they learn about program development and production, cross-departmental collaboration, and, partnership with mission-aligned community organizations to explore social themes self-identified as important and relevant.

 

Chelsea Youth Placekeeping Project

This group of local youth conduct neighborhood assessments in collaboration with other youth groups, to identify local areas that would benefit from additional attention, be it an upgrade to a local playground, a mural, or a public service campaign. These projects are determined by teen staff, and a formal RFP process is utilized to bring in local artists and practitioners to realize selected projects. This process prioritizes civic leadership, deliberative dialogue as a solution-based process, youth voice, and autonomy.

 

Youth Participatory Budgeting Committee

As part of the High Line’s partnership with New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to lead Participatory Budgeting efforts in District 3, our committee of paid teen staff leads this important and innovative civic engagement process. Working in partnership with Speaker Johnson’s team, participating teens (including middle- and high-school members) support all aspects of the process while learning about community engagement and civic leadership.

Alumni Network

We provide ongoing professional development workshops, networking events, family nights, and other opportunities for our 120+ teen alumni, as well as their friends and families. Alumni have helped shape the High Line’s programmatic landscape through family programs, participatory budgeting, public programs on the park, and fairs and festivals. We are committed to providing support as our alumni build their futures and create change in their communities.

'' It was great being able to meet individuals with different perspectives on life. Regardless of their contrasts, each point of view is valid. The most important advice I received was that I shouldn't hold too tightly to an idea, but be free moving with it. Things and ideas come and go, non-resistance will lead to more happiness.'

— Leala, Teen Staff

Support

High Line Teens is supported with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, with special thanks to Speaker Corey Johnson.