YES Students are Informing the Science

October 13, 2020


In 2017, our youth partnered with the Allegheny County Health Department and University stakeholders to conduct a youth participatory action research project addressing lead exposure in Lincoln Lemington. This project remains the catalyst for the health equity and

environmental justice work in which our young people continue to engage and a model for other programs to follow. We felt this research could me meaningful for a larger audience and as a result decided to submit an article to the Journal of STEM Outreach detailing this project. We are excited to announce that the article has finally been accepted and will be able to reach that intended wider audience!


This article connects existing research on STEM education and the peer-teaching model to understand how such a model can be employed to teach youth who are not exposed to high-quality STEM education in their traditional learning environments through peer-based techniques. We are eager for others to delve into the model we used and understand the potential impact it can have, particularly on community-based participatory research with young people. 

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YES Research Article Fills the Gap
YES' Spring 2020 Afterschool Matters Journal Publication
For Immediate Release:  Spring 2020

Oftentimes, it is not what is present, but what is missing, that matters most. YES’ Spring 2020 Afterschool Matters Journal Publication:  Transcend the Summer Slump: How to Attract and Retain Low-Income Students in Summer Learning Programs supports this claim and further demonstrates YES’ commitment to building an evidence based and connecting its programmatic efforts to research opportunities within the scholarship community. 

Research has elucidated why low-income students do not engage in summer learning programs, but few scholars have examined why young people do engage; even fewer have studied high school students. Because of this, YES undertook research on why low-income high school students invest in summer learning. YES engaged participants in examining the factors that first attracted and then sustained their participation. The recently published study found that the elements that attracted students to the program were not the same as those that sustained participation. The results suggest ways that program providers and policy makers can better serve the young people who need summer learning programs most.

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YES Partners with Whole Foods Market to Support Camp FEWI (Female Empowerment and Wellness Initiative)
Urban Elementary and Middle School Girls gather for Wellness, Sports and Fitness Program
For Immediate Release:  July 10, 2019

Youth Enrichment Services (YES), a local non-profit focused on enrichment, education, and mentorship, was formed in 1994 to empower families to become their own best resource and to give inner-city youth a portrait of themselves as successful, empowered, and confident individuals.  The heart of YES is a spirit of mentorship that places students at its center and elicits them to tap into their most valuable connection: each other.  In doing so, YES peer mentors drive project curriculum, guide program focus, direct youth activities, and encourage peers.  


YES is putting its mentorship model to the test this summer by providing young girls from the Pittsburgh community an opportunity to engage in various sports alongside YES peer female mentors at Camp FEWI (Female Empowerment and Wellness Initiative). 

Click here for entire press release »

East Liberty nonprofit Youth Enrichment Services Named 2019 Champion in Action
“Trib Total Media recognizes the power of the mentorship provided to young people in the Pittsburgh region by Youth Enrichment Services.”
— Jennifer Bertetto, Trib Total Media President and CEO
By Courier Editor, March 4, 2019

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Youth Enrichment Services (YES), a nonprofit providing socially and economically at-risk youth the opportunity to achieve success through participation in mentorship, education and enrichment programs, has been named a 2019 Champion in Action in the category of Youth Leadership. The award, announced jointly by Citizens Bank, WPXI-TV, Trib Total Media and Pittsburgh Cares, includes $35,000 in unrestricted funding as well as promotional and volunteer support for the organization’s outstanding work, according to a release.

Youth Enrichment Services (YES) provides empowerment, experiential opportunities, academic enrichment and summer employment as positive pathways to future success. YES partners with local organizations to create synergy and generates transformative stories, national accolades and positive research outcomes. 

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Pittsburgh-area students tackle community challenges in Learn and Earn Program
“The goal is to help young people develop a spirit of advocacy, awareness and action.”  
— Denise Jones, Program Director at YES.
By Jamie Martines, August 16, 2018

Martell Reese wants to change the world.


And he's starting in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.


Reese, 14, of East Hills, spent the past six weeks examining the factors that contribute to crime in Homewood. Along with three teammates, he surveyed over 40 Homewood residents in an effort to highlight the factors community members think would help to improve public safety.


"It shows that people do care about their community," Reese said. "And maybe they can change the world with us.

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YES recognized as a Champion of Learning
“At the Consortium we often talk about the importance of hope and the need for every one of our kids to believe they have a wonderful future in store for them.”  
— Mary Kay Babyak, Executive Directors.
By Patricia Sheridan, April 7, 2018

As one of several finalists, YES received the Champions of Learning Community Award for its two-decades of community outreach. YES was especially honored for creating unique enrichment opportunities that transcend the classroom and that empower youth to redefine, rewrite, and reaffirm their own livelihoods and embrace their natural role as social agents of change in their respective communities. 

For more information about the award from the Consortium for Public Education, please click here ».

YES Receives ACHD Lead Mini-Grant
YES received grant funds from the Allegheny County Health Department to conduct an education campaign on lead exposure and to continue lead investigative research in East End communities with youth researchers.
By Theresa Clift, January 4, 2018
The Allegheny County Health Department has awarded nearly $44,000 in grants to help 10 Pittsburgh-area organizations raise awarement about the risks of lead exposure. 

For more information on the award and grant from the Allegheny County Health Department, click here ».

YES Students Join Allegheny Health Department Meeting
October 2, 2017
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) facilitated an ideation session on lead exposure related communications. The goal of the meeting was to generate new and creative ways to communicate with the public about lead education and lead testing. YES students from the “Leading the Discussion on Lead” project were invited to participated in the meeting. 


Allegheny Front

Teens Earn and Learn While Education Their Neighbors About Lead Exposure

By Kara Holsopple, August 17, 2017

It’s a hot, sunny day in August, and high school students McKayla Dixon, Anesa Reed, and Keith Jamison are working their summer jobs. The three teenagers are pounding the pavement, walking up and down hills, with clipboards in hand, hoping to talk with residents in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood about their exposure

to lead.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fighting Lead Exposure on the Home Front: Education, blood tests, water pipes and housing remediation.

By Jill Daly, August 1, 2017

Getting the word out about the dangers
of lead, and how it threatens the health of young children and pregnant women, has taken to the streets this summer.
Pittsburgh YES Students spent a warm afternoon recently tracking customer traffic at two stores in Lincoln-Lemington as research for a lead education program designed and carried out by young people.

Click here for entire article »