Our mission at YES is to continue to grow and expand opportunities to invest in as many Pittsburgh youth and families as possible. Out of this mission comes our core belief that there are no throw-away kids. We support any students who express interest in, and meet the criteria for, our Mentoring Partnerships and Diversion and Restorative programs. We are persistent and serious about supporting all students, even those with the most challenging cases, as we deem students to be our greatest and most valuable resource. Students drive and lead our programming initiatives, inform the critical work in which we engage, demonstrate strength in overcoming obstacles, and further evidence our impact.    


Youth Service Delivery Programs

Mentoring Partnerships

The heart of YES is Mentoring Partnerships, a community-based program that incorporates academic and workforce exposure, peer mentor certification training, life skills development, cultural and social enrichment, and wellness initiatives to address at-risk behavior among adolescents. The mentoring concept is central to our organization’s philosophy of improved physical, emotional, and academic development. YES’ Mentoring Partnerships is designed to function as the house for all efforts at YES outside of our Diversion and Restorative Practice Programming. The goal of the Mentoring Partnerships is to provide students with examples of and time to practice skills that lead to healthy minds and bodies, self-sufficiency, civic responsibility, and community belonging. Simply put, we want to empower students and families to be their own best resources and see meaningful futures for themselves in Pittsburgh and beyond. At YES, we believe that this vision is best achieved through empowering students academically, socially, financially, and physically through mentorship, leadership development, career enhancement, and cultural enrichment that is both historically-rooted and expansively future-focused.

Mentoring Partnerships Criteria

Students who are:

  • Ages 14 – 21

  • Attending Pittsburgh Public schools or schools in surrounding districts

  • Residing in Pittsburgh or surrounding Pittsburgh communities

Diversion 2000


Developed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court, Diversion 2000 (D2000) is a 24/7 mon­i­tor­ing and men­tor­ing program offering juvenile offenders with an alternative to deten­tion. Program staff conduct school and home vis­its, mon­i­tor school attendance, make daily cur­few calls, and arrange aca­d­e­mic sup­ports to aid client’s development, decrease tru­ancy, and reduce recidi­vism.

Diversion 2000 Program Criteria

Students who are:

  • Ages 10 – 18

  • Referred from Probation Officer or Juvenile Court Judge

  • Residing in Allegheny County

Extended Diversion Services

Extended Diversion Services (EDS) offers former (or non-) justice-involved youth with extended, holistic, and individualized support services.​ EDS youth continue to receive home and school visits and nightly curfew calls; however their services are expanded to include weekly sessions facilitated by YES staff, social and cultural outings, one-on-one mentoring, and employability preparation. 

Extended Diversion Program Criteria

Students who are:

  • Ages 10 – 18

  • Referred from Probation Officers, Juvenile Court Judges, School Stakeholders, and Municipal Court Judges

  • Residing in Allegheny County


student pathways

Mentoring Partnerships Pathways


  • Summer Study for Success 

  • Summer Magic

  • Faith Ranch: Teen Mentor Training 

  • Summer Work for Success 

  • Learn and Earn: Summer Work Placement 

The Beginning:

Program Enrollment

The Truth:

Mentor/Mentee Training

The Work: Summer Enrichment

and Workforce Development

The Connection:

School Year Service Provision

The Way:

Stakeholder Engagement

The Life: Year-Round Program Engagement

The Mission:


The Return:

Come Back and

Support YES



  • Learn and Earn

  • Faith Ranch

  • Summer Work

  • Summer Magic
  • Summer Study


  • All About Me 

  • Teen Café

  • College Preparation

  • FeWi
  • Voices to Men

  • Pathways to Access

Diversion 2000 Pathways

Referral from Probation Officer

Intake Home Visit

Provisional Services

Adjudication Court Hearing

or P.O. or Judge Terminates

Youth Enrollment

Provisional Services Continue

Youth Eligible for Group Programming & Mentor Outings

P.O. or Judge Terminates Youth Enrollment

Enrollment in Mentoring Partnership Programming


  • All About Me 

  • Teen Café

  • College Preparation

  • FeWi
  • Voices to Men

  • Pathways to Access



  • Learn and Earn

  • Faith Ranch

  • Summer Work

  • Summer Magic
  • Summer Study



While we honor and appreciate all our students, we particularly enjoy highlighting our seniors, typically longstanding participants who contribute greatly to YES, commit to fulfilling its mission, and vow to carry on its legacy of empowerment. Here are some of the colleges our seniors have been accepted to:
  • Duquesne University 

  • University of Pittsburgh 

  • VIllanova University 

  • University of Virginia 

  • Drexel University 

  • Virginia Tech University 

  • Pennsylvania State University 

  • Lafayette College 

  • Allegheny College

  • Purdue University 

  • Hampton University 

  • Kent State University 

  • Saint Vincent University 

  • Chatham University 

  • Seton Hill University 

  • Coe College 

  • Susquehanna University 

  • Washington and Jefferson

  • Slippery Rock University 

  • Alabama State University 

  • Robert Morris University  

  • Lincoln University 

  • Clark Atlanta 

  • Edinboro University 

  • Delaware State University

  • Xavier University 

  • West Virginia University  

  • Temple University 

  • Howard University

  • Berklee School of Music

  • Saint Joseph's University 

  • The University of Arts 

  • West Chester University

  • Cleveland State University  

  • Baldwin Wallace 

  • CMU* - Waitlist 

  • Lehigh* - Waitlist 

  • NYU* - Waitlisted 

  • NC State University* - Waitlisted



YES is committed to ensuring students gain access to post-secondary educational opportunities and resources. Below are examples of colleges and universities that our dynamic freshmen attend.