Youth Empowerment Solutions

The Youth Empowerment Solutions Program (or “YES”) is designed to help middle school students develop the knowledge and skills they need to plan and lead community change projects. SRSLY believes that the best way to make positive changes in our community and reduce destructive behaviors like underage drinking and drug use is to let the youth take the lead. The YES Program prepares them to do just that.

The YES Program was developed by the Prevention Research Center of Michigan, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The SRSLY Coalition is implementing the YES Program in order to empower young people and create positive community change. With permission from the original authors, SRSLY has adjusted the original curriculum to specifically target youth substance abuse.

The training consists of four in-service pieces of training at middle schools and additional team meetings as needed through the end of the school year. The in-service training cover teamwork, leadership and project planning. The program includes a community asset visit, a discussion with community leaders, and a “windshielding” activity, during which youth learn how to identify community assets and liabilities.