YES Experiences Growth Through the Decade

Growth through the Decade: 2010 – 2020 YES Snapshot Report
For Immediate Release:  January 2021

As 2020 came to an end YES sought to find a way to effectively capture the accomplishments, challenges, and overall spirit of our last decade of work. Members of YES’ staff along with an intern from the University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement Center created a report that illustrated the myriad aspects of YES that have defined the last ten years.


This report, “Growth through the Decade: 2010 – 2020 YES Snapshot Report”, serves to honor the legacy of YES while acknowledging the present moments we currently find ourselves in and preparing for the future. Similarly to every program and initiative YES takes on, the report is grounded in and driven by the voices of the youth we serve. As a result, the report is shaped around survey feedback, interviews, and informal conversations had with current YES youth and alumni. The common themes that arose time and again in these interactions are a testament to the lasting impact YES has on the youth it serves, even as these individuals enter adulthood. 


We are excited to share this snapshot of our work over the last decade and hope to use this moment to spring us into another decade of success.

More YES News

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. 

To continue reading, please click here » 

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.

To continue reading further, please click here »

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 »




Wear Your Voice

Vaccine Hesitancy Is Growing in the Black Community, and this is a Valid Response to the Long History of Mistreatment by Medical Institutions.

By Rachel Jones

December 21 2020


The recent announcement of two viable COVID-19 vaccine candidates has brought the close to a seemingly endless pandemic into view for many. However, a cultural temperature check on vaccine sentiment may challenge that hope. Recent studies have shown that only about half of Americans would get a coronavirus vaccine. In attempting to account for the other half, it’s easy to trace how arguments of personal freedom used to reject masks could give way to similar rejection of vaccines. The portrait of the anti-vaxxer and the anti-masker are almost identical, both hostile to science, bolstered by Facebook conspiracies, and likely named Karen. 

But that portrait of those who may fear a rushed vaccine leaves out an important group: Black Americans. Vaccine hesitancy is growing in the Black community, and it isn’t limited to just online conspiracy theorists. Black activists, public figures and elected officials have been among those voicing distrust for vaccines. This year alone, Black activists in Colorado rallied against a pro-vaccine bill, and a DC council member made statements casting doubt on the trustworthiness of vaccines for his constituents. And recently, Black Panther actress Letitia Wright shared a 69-minute anti-vaccine video (that was unfortunately filled with misinformation and transphobia). 

To continue reading, please click here » 

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