At YES! we get really excited when we have the opportunity to tell people that we hire high school students as paid staff. Yes, you read that correctly, high school students are paid employees of YES!, and we love talking to people about this topic because we know that our intentional investment is transformative. Our organizational investment in young people highlights the value we have for their time, minds, vision, expertise, and their energy. We value the lives of our young people in and out of the YES! office and our commitment to changing systems in our communities that lock out young people and their voices from prosperous opportunities. Our work, communities and lives transform when we ground our work with the voices of young people. Over the next couple of weeks we want to take a minute to introduce you to our amazing youth teams and celebrate each individual. We hope you enjoy this look into our teams! #YES4Change
My name is Roz-kareem and I have worked for Youth Empowered Solution for a year. I’m a senior at Phillip O’ Berry and plan to study computer science after graduation. A few of my hobbies are swimming, track, and listening to music. This past year I worked for YES!, I had a chance to learn a lot about what is going on in our community. I love working with YES! because we are given the opportunity as youth to voice our opinions. Also I have had opportunities to lead trainings and attend trainings in our communities.
My name is Mason and I’ve been working for YES! for about 8 months. My favorite thing about working for YES! are the eye opening experiences that we get to see and hear about that we wouldn’t have otherwise came across, for example rural justice food issues, just how deep racial equity goes and water access across school systems. When I am no longer apart of YES! something I want to take with me is always keeping an open mind. This may seem quite simple; however, before YES!, I used to find myself judging others based on how they look or how others perceive. Since then, I have learned to keep an open mind and form my own opinions of people by getting to know them. My hobbies include reading, watching movies, and playing with my brothers.
My name is Constanze and I’ve been apart of the team for about 8 months . I’m 16, I attend Phillip O. Berry high school and I’m a junior . My hobbies are sitting around laughing, talking, and getting to know others, reading and listening to music . My favorite part about YES! is that you can be yourself around everyone because it’s an open environment for any and everyone. I love that everyone is family. One thing YES! has really taught me is how to put my thoughts into action and not just say something that you can’t put into a plan. I’ve always been an outspoken person and a person to voice their opinion, but never a person to actually sit down and build a plan, which really challenged me because I’m not a planner at all. I was always a “head first” person, but if you want to get something done and correct the first time I’ve learned the best way is to set a plan. I’m thankful for all the opportunities and new life experiences YES! has exposed me to and look forward to many more.
I’m A’Niya. I was born in Charlotte, NC. My hobbies include reading, making up hypothetical scenarios in my head, and listening to music. I have been working for YES! for about 8 months now! I enjoy working for YES! for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons I like working for YES! is because of all the different things I get learn and all the new people I am able to work with. I also enjoy being able to travel with YES!. I look forward to doing more work with YES! in the future.
My name is Janasia and I’ve been working with YES! since December of 2017. I am a rising senior at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. I’m very interested in the school to prison pipeline and the lack of equity, funding, and opportunities in inner-city schools. The best part about YES! is that my facilitators always make sure that I’m aware of all the current issues that our society faces. I plan on becoming a public attorney so I can devote myself to advocacy work especially with inner-city youth.
My name is Joshua I am in 10th grader at Phillip O’ Berry Academy of Technology. I am a member of the Charlotte youth staff. I plan to work with YES! until I’m a senior or probably beyond. I want to change the stereotypes about young black men and black people in general. I also plan to do more work tobacco prevention and racial equity.
Kaleia Martin, Senior Program Coordinator
Erica Marshall, Program Coordinator