Youth Enrichment for Success (YES)
Purpose: The STEP Youth Enrichment for Success (YES) program helps at-risk youth in Lycoming County by providing one-on-one mentoring to evaluate their needs, establishing a network of local support resources, and supporting the youth as they develop the life and employment skills and knowledge to achieve self-sufficiency.
Vision: To assist at-risk youth in overcoming barriers to success and developing skills that will prepare them for self-sufficiency.
Program Overview: The Youth Enrichment for Success (YES) program is a 12- to 18-month youth employment program for 16- to 21-year-olds who are motivated to earn a GED or train for a career. The program is for Lycoming County youths and is a partnership between STEP, Inc., Lycoming Children & Youth Services, Lycoming County Juvenile Probation Office, and the Lycoming County Criminal Justice Advisory Board.
The program includes three phases: needs assessment and basic skills development, on-the-job training or job shadowing, and technical training. In the initial phase, strengths and barriers are assessed, goals are developed, and the youth is connected to services that will help them achieve their goals. Youth then participate in on-the-job training or job shadowing, and work toward completion of their GED, if needed. In the final phase of YES, youth have the opportunity to participate in a technical training program, with the overall goal of gaining successful employment.
Benchmarks of Success:
- Youth attain their GED
- Obstacles to success—such as financial, budgeting, childcare, transportation, and housing—are addressed.
- Life skills are acquired.
- Career path choices are assessed and evaluated.
- Positive job shadowing or on-the-job training experience is gained.
- Technical training is completed.
- Youth are successfully employed in the community.
Josh entered the Youth Enrichment for Success (YES) Program on August 21, 2018. He worked with a Lead Family Navigator to develop and implement a goal plan which included resume building, improving relationship building skills, graduating high school, employment searching, individual counseling, eliminating involvement with the legal system, continued payment of court fines, and obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Permit.
Since enrollment with the YES Program, Josh attended school regularly and graduated from Compass Academy on May 30, 2019 and Montgomery Area Junior/Senior High School on May 31, 2019. With the assistance of his Family Navigator, Josh created a resume which he used to obtain employment with Ralph Alberts while still enrolled in school. During this time, he attended individual counseling appointments, addressed building healthy relationships with peers, and continued to meet with his probation officer regularly.
Josh plans on increasing his hours at Ralph Alberts and completing his CDL Permit in order to enhance his skills through his employer. He looks forward to being involved in the workforce and is eager to learn new skills!
Upon completion of the YES Program, Josh was nominated by STEP, Inc. for the 2019 Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP) Self-Sufficiency Awards. The CAAP Self-Sufficiency Awards recognize the significant accomplishments of the award winners while showcasing how Community Action Agencies support a person’s journey toward financial stability.