The Zuckerberg Institute and the City of Greenburgh are partnering again this year to recruit student interns who will provide innovative solutions to energize businesses hard hit by the pandemic.
The city is looking for up to 30 students who want to learn business skills, interact with nationally respected business leaders, and help struggling local businesses survive. This is the second year the city has partnered with the Zuckerberg Institute in an initiative to help businesses threatened with closure.
Countless businesses in Greenburgh have been hit hard by the pandemic and continue to struggle even as the pandemic subsides. Some lucky marketers got personalized help last summer when the Zuckerberg Institute paired local teens with entrepreneurs and experts through the Pandemic Task Force program.
This summer’s initiative, known as the Post Pandemic Task Force, will be a three-week course for 30 high school students led by Randi Zuckerberg (Creator of Facebook Live) and the founders of the Zuckerberg Institute. In conjunction with Arizona State University‘s Open Citizen Project, the program trains students in the mindset and skills needed to thrive as successful innovators, from collaboration to time management. Students will work with a small, dedicated team of peers to help a local business identify and solve the fundamental issues it is facing. This summer, students will also work with real estate agents to try to fill commercial vacancies located on properties in the unincorporated section of Greenburgh.
Top Asia Mart at 365 Central Park Ave. in Scarsdale, had the unfortunate moment of first opening during lockdown in 2020, only to grapple with the difficulties of dwindling supply and increased demand, struggling to create new clientele when most were homebound, and to keep its store clean and its staff and customers feeling safe.
Market’s Tiffany Tong explained how the students actually helped sanitize the store for hours, set up social media pages and tried to raise the company’s profile in the community while improving the customer experience in the shop.
“They gave us ideas on how to improve our store,” Tong said. “This program is very valuable. Being a small business is not easy.
David Diao, a student in the 2021 program, said of the experience, “I learned not only about business, but I learned how to be a better citizen, a better community member, and a better person.
Colby Jenkins is a Greenburgh resident who runs a full-service event planning and vendor management organization, which also benefited from the support when so many events were on hold. “Having the network and guidance of this group at this critical time is of real value to me and my business. It’s a miracle.”
The Post Pandemic Institute will meet for two hours each morning, Monday through Thursday, July 11 through July 28. The cost is $1,000 per student, with the City of Greenburgh subsidizing half of that cost for all participants, so the actual price is only $500. Additional scholarships are available for students with financial need, and college credits are available through Arizona State University for an additional fee.
The application process is determined based on merit and an innovative mindset.