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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.

Become a High Line Teens Staff Member

Interested in what it’s like to work in a public park or garden? Do you want to get more involved in your community? Are you interested in social justice, environmental justice, and leadership? If so, apply to be a High Line Teen Staff Member!

Learn more & apply
Meet the 2022 Teen Staff

Padmavati Arjune

“The High Line makes me feel more enlivened by both the work I do for my community and by the people I work with.The staff at the High Line really helps us; to foster an inner life and an outer life, to cultivate respect and authenticity, to honor vulnerability as a form of courage, and to remain open to growth.”

Logan Ayala

“The High Line is where I feel most comfortable being myself. I plan to bring that incredible feeling to not only the Chelsea area, but all of New York City.”

Ashley Baez

“The High Line has been my outlet for creative expression and growth, not only as an individual, but also collectively with our community. Being involved on the High Line for more than four years has given me valuable insight into how our community can impact social justice and environmental issues.”

Joel Barbecho

“The High Line makes me feel comfortable. I see it as a place to relax and feel calm.”

Fatoumata Barry

“Being on the High Line makes me feel secure. I used to struggle with finding places where I could be my best self, but now that I’ve joined the High Line, I find myself unapologetically taking up space and working toward becoming the woman I imagine myself to be in the future.”

Mame Bousso Kane

“I want to bring everything I can to improve the High Line this year, especially by supporting the functionality of the High Line as a public space and infrastructure reuse site.”

Frank Bill Felipe

“I believe that the High Line brings joy, adventure, and fun to our community. When I started school in Chelsea, I didn’t know about the High Line until a friend showed me around. I discovered it’s a place for all of us.”

Sarah Burke

“I learned something new about myself on the High Line. During my first summer as a Teen Staff member, I learned what I can offer my community. I learned that my ideas matter, and that they are never too trivial to share.”

Sara Concepcion

“At the High Line, I have been given the opportunity to expand my career within a world of community engagement. It’s liberating to know that my efforts will allow me to fully appreciate the High Line community and the Teen program.”

Junior DeJesus

“The High Line is my safe haven and here’s why: Being on the High Line makes me feel like I belong here. I’ve met many peers who I can relate to on many levels. I feel that I can thrive in its environment freely because, as we work together as a team, we flow like water.”

Yisel Dejesus

“To work with and be on the High Line is like a breath of fresh unpolluted air. Everyone is very genuine and kind hearted. The staff have created such a welcoming space for everyone on and off of the park. The High Line gifted me with unforgettable memories and unforgettable people.”

Javier Eusebio

“The High Line is my safe place because it takes me to a space where I want to be in my life–in a space with green all around, beautiful architecture surrounding it, and the sun interacting with everything.”

Gabriella Figueroa

“I want to find my voice at the High Line this year. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow while also being able to make a positive impact on our community.”

Jaylene Guzman

“Being on the High Line makes me feel content. I enjoy that it’s always a calming place I can visit by myself or with my friends. There’s also always inspiration for art or other fun projects!”

Tapuwanashe Hightower

“The High Line is filled with crazy, peculiar, wild, “non-conformist” hippies. I fit in just fine.”

Mahima Islam

“The High Line not only brings in a sense of positivity, but it also creates a dynamic where it feels like our community comes together as a whole family!”

Sencha Kreymerman

“I want to help the High Line organize workshops and events to reach even more people in our community this year.”

Amelia Lobo-Jost

“The High Line has always been a unique and interesting place. Before the pandemic, I just viewed it as an occasional cool place. During lockdown, I came to realize how important public parks and green spaces are. Now I take full advantage of this incredible outdoor resource in our community.”

Lindsay Lorcy

“The High Line always feels like a breath of fresh air every time I walk through it and see all the people, art, and nature.”

Thalia Markowski

“I want to find artistic ways to connect with Chelsea’s youth at the High Line this year. I’m inspired by the next generation and want to grow personally through their artistic endeavors.”

Lyla Mooney

“To me, these three adjectives describe the High Line: unique, dependable, and necessary.”

Angela Padilla

“I want to make a lot of happy and exciting memories at the High Line this year.”

Christian Pantaleon

“Being on the High Line makes me feel nostalgic and comfortable. Before I was a teenager, I went to the High Line a lot with my summer camp. Now, as a teenager, every time I visit the High Line, I think of all my happy memories from spending entire days there, which makes the High Line feel like home to me.”

Jasmin Romero Caballero

“Beneficial, peaceful, and comforting…These are the words that come to my mind when I think of the High Line. It’s a place you can go when you’re having a bad day. The nature found on the park can be comforting if you feel the stress of the city.

Jaqese Smith

“The High Line is my dream place to visit. When I was a freshman, everybody talked about the High Line, but I didn’t know what it was. I was confused, so all I had was the hope that one day I could visit and meet the person who created it. Since then I’ve discovered that there are many people who make the High Line an amazing place.”

Kymberli Smith

“The pandemic completely changed the way I think about and use the High Line. For one, the fact that it’s an outdoor gathering space where people can connect, even from six feet apart, was so helpful to my mental health. To have a place to just go and take a breath was–and still is–VERY necessary to me.”

Mia F. Peña

“This year, I really want to contribute to the community in a way it can benefit and thrive sustainably at the High Line.”

Shanice Dorzilor

“This year, I really want to learn a lot more about the High Line and build relationships with co-workers.”

Steve Trujillo

“Being on the High Line makes you feel grateful and out of this world. The beautiful architecture and art creates an environment that shows how infrastructure re-use can elevate horticulture and art. Especially in a city, that is hard to imagine.”

Brandon Sanchez

“The High Line brings a welcoming space for people to be adventurous and enjoy themselves within our community which is a rarity in other parts of the city.”

Jessica Samuel

“Three adjectives I would use to describe the High Line are innovative, creative, and collaborative. Innovative: the High Line is a prime example of infrastructure reuse. Creative: various public art displays and programs. Collaborative: new connections made across communities via the High Line Network.”

Lo Andrickson

“This year, I really want to show park-goers just how breath taking nature can be at the High Line. I want to emphasize just how beautiful natural environments can be, and thrive if we were to pay close attention to our surroundings.”

Benjamin Boateng

“The pandemic has made me realize that the High Line is a necessity for the people who live in the community and the people of New York. It continues to provide a space to be out in nature and actually get the chance to breathe and just find a space to feel as if they aren’t alone in the world.”

Fatimah Jannat

“Three words to describe the High Line are peaceful, grassy, and calm. It’s the ideal place for walks or to get something off your mind if you’re stressing about something for peace!”

Malakai White

“The High Line transports me back to the person I used to be. Here’s why: Going to school in the Chelsea area—and just basically growing up on the High Line—[every time I’m in the park] I get flooded with memories of the people I used to know and the lives I’ve lived. It’s a place of nostalgia.”

Aissatou Tunkara

“The High Line feels like my second home. It’s welcoming and filled with a variety of art and plants. The history behind the High Line is rich and rooted in bringing a community together and that’s why it’s so great.”

 

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

Major support for High Line Teens is provided by Jamie and Jeffrey Harris, Sarah Min and Matt Pincus, and Denise Littlefield Sobel. Program support for High Line Teens is provided by IAC Foundation.

High Line Teens is made possible, in part, with endowment funds from the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation.

Major support for High Line Education is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc.

High Line Programs and Accessibility are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams, with special thanks to Council Member Erik Bottcher.

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