- who we are
- what we do
- YESPhilly students
- what's current
- media arts
- contact us
Mission and History: YESPhilly (aka Youth Empowerment Services) was established in June 1999 to develop opportunities for the many youth who drop out of Philadelphia Schools. Since our start, we have taken the lead in getting public attention for the issue of high school dropouts, crafting the Blueprint for Out of School Youthin 2002.
For over a decade, YESPhilly has designed and implemented an intensive youth development model for young adults, created innovative programs and curricula, and advocated for more and better targeted resources for high school dropouts. Our philosophy is that every student has multiple talents and something important to contribute, and that their previous challenges can become the basis for motivation and self-knowledge needed for successful adulthood. We work with the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Youth Network, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and many others provide opportunities to hundreds of young adults who left school without a high school diploma.
YESPhilly has consistently focused on developingprograms that are engaging to youth, and that blend counseling, academic instruction, media arts and life skills/job readiness activities. While funding has evolved since 1999, we have consistently maintained and expanded our services, and have developed curricula and an instructional model that helps youth with histories of failure to succeed. Our models have focused on preparing students to pass the GED test ready for college and careers. In 2009 we were selected by the Philadelphia Youth Network to pilot a GED to College program. This program has continued to expand, and currently serves 50 students/year.
Starting in September 2013, we will be adding a high-school diploma option for students who meet School District of Philadelphia Accelerated High School criteria. The YESPhilly School will enroll 100 students between the ages of 16 and 21. The school will give students who have 12.5 or fewer credits the opportunity to earn high school diplomas at an accelerated rate.
None of this could have happened without our funders and partners.
YESPhilly receives funding from both the public and private sectors. Public funds include the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services and the Philadelphia Youth Network, and the School District of Philadelphia. YESPhilly receives private contributions from Children Can Shape the Future, the Claneil Foundation, the Douty Foundation, the Fourjay Foundation, the Hamilton Foundation, the Hilles Fund, the Lindy Foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation, the Seybert Institution, the Subaru Foundation, the William Penn Foundation and the United Way.