Youth Enrichment Services (YES) formed as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1994 to empower youth to achieve success through education, enrichment, and mentorship programs and to embolden communities to become their own best resource. Through two decades of youth and community-based initiatives, YES has fostered strong community ties, built healthy, multi-generational relationships with local families, and has served over 3,500 youth.
YES started as Project YES, a summer learning program providing West Virginia public housing communities with academic enrichment, agricultural training, sports development, and mentorship. Project YES generated transformative stories, national accolades, and positive research outcomes that have since informed the organization’s direction.
Etched in the fabric of YES remains the value of community-centered programming and the vision for communities to embrace self-sustaining practices. This same spirit influenced YES’s move to Pittsburgh, where it became a primary intervention to address urban blight, academic underachievement, and dropout among teens in inner-city Pittsburgh.
Since its transition nearly twenty-six years ago, YES has maintained its passion for helping young people (ages 10 – 21) realize their goals and dreams and has focused on empowerment, experiential opportunities, academic enrichment, and summer employment. YES has done so through a unique confluence of institutions, universities, and grassroots organizations who support the mission vision, and ethos of YES.