Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) is centered on the comprehensive YES! Youth Empowerment Model®. The model is a three-pronged approach that effectively engages young people in meaningful work that challenges them to develop skills, gain critical awareness, and participate in opportunities that are necessary to create just, equitable, and thriving communities.
The process of strengthening skills and increasing knowledge to improve equitable decision-making, authentic peer and community engagement, and community change through advocacy and activism.
The ability to identify, analyze, and share information and resources in order to center the lived experiences of historically marginalized youth, change the narrative, and have a deeper understanding of the “how” and “why” of racial equity, youth empowerment, and community change.
The actions taken to achieve sustainable community change through the lens of racial equity and youth empowerment.
Youth Empowerment: The Theory and Its Implementation
At YES! we know that empowered youth, working in partnership with adults, have great power to create lasting, positive change in their communities. Written and researched by YES! staff Jeanne Dairaghi, Bronwyn Lucas and Parrish Ravelli, and consultant Meredith Ledford, this paper was developed to address a need for evidence-based research on youth empowerment, and to show how the theory of youth empowerment can be translated into practice.