Buffalo, New York – Mayor Byron W. Brown in partnership with the Department of Community Services today celebrated the winners of his first annual Mayor’s Summer Youth Internship Awards during a special ceremony held in the lobby of Buffalo City Hall, where he also awarded the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center with the 2022 Exemplary Worksite Award.
Mayor Brown stated, “Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s first annual Mayor’s Summer Youth Internship Awards! What a pleasure it is to honor our young people and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for the positive work they did throughout the summer months, work that also revealed a contagious spirit of generosity, kindness, and respect. My Administration remains committed to preparing city youth, of every background, to enter the workforce, and this year’s awardees are truly great examples to their peers and to our community.”
He continued, “Every young person nominated for an award is also deserving of recognition for their work. It wasn’t easy to choose award recipients from such a wonderful field of nominations. Please join me in congratulating everyone who was nominated this year.”
Recipients of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Awards were nominated by their site supervisors who worked closely with them during Mayor Brown’s 6-week summer work experience program that provided both in-person and virtual employment and work-readiness training to City youth. In a continued effort to help shape the workforce of tomorrow, the Brown Administration invested $1.5 million into this year’s summer youth internship program, providing learn and earn opportunities to 1,500 youth, bringing the total number of program participants since 2006 to 27,000.
Additionally, Mayor Brown honored the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for the major role it continues to play in his summer youth employment program.
Mayor Brown stated, “My summer youth employment program is successful because of the strong partnerships we’ve developed over the years, including an outstanding relationship with the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which provides learn and earn opportunities to many City youth who are interested in pursuing careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industry. I thank Roswell Park President and CEO Dr. Candace S. Johnson and her staff for partnering with us and providing life-changing pathways to career success to our young people.”
Among the ceremony’s most memorable moments came when SUNY Buffalo State College Student Gianna Cotto was presented with The Brian Harper Memorial Leadership Award. The leadership scholarship was presented to Gianna by Harper’s family who felt she best embodied the same vision, strength, dependability, and flexibility that Harper had, both as a former intern in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and throughout his life. The Buffalo Native died tragically in April of 2022.
Below is a detailed list of each of the six award categories, along with the name of the award recipient(s).
This award is presented to two students who best displayed a positive attitude and showed initiative, enthusiasm, and
commitment, as well as a strong desire to assist others and complete assigned tasks.
This award is presented to a compassionate and talented youth who strives to give back to his or her community, peers, and staff members, while encouraging others to get involved.
This award is presented to a youth who displays an eagerness to learn and a willingness to work hard.
This award is presented to a youth who has shown determination, confidence, and perseverance in overcoming challenges, while striving to realize his or her full potential.
This award is presented to the worksite that provides outstanding employment opportunities to our interns, giving them a unique educational experience that sparks their curiosity in careers involving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This worksite is a partnering agency that is dedicated to further assisting and creating an even stronger local workforce by preparing our young people for the jobs of the future.
This award is presented to a youth who embodies the vision, strength, dependability, and flexibility that Brian Harper, a former intern in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, exhibited throughout his life. The Buffalo Native, who died tragically in April of 2022, was a strong critical thinker who strived to improve our community, enriched the lives of others, and consistently maintained a positive “It Can Be Done” attitude.