Youth Encouraged to Succeed (YES) Program
Our YES Program was established in 2020 as a natural expansion and enhancement of our work. We ensure that every child and young adult in our care has a chance at success, from middle school through age 21, facilitated and strengthened by our partnership with the NYC Fair Futures Coalition.
What is the YES Program?
Through YES, Seamen’s Society connects youth in foster care with tools and resources that enable them to:
- Develop the skills they need to succeed through lasting, trusting relationships and a network of positive adult and peer support;
- Build professional development skills;
- Establish positive educational, career, and housing goals;
- Graduate from high school;
- Excel in post-secondary settings;
- Obtain career development experiences; and,
- Obtain and maintain affordable housing and gain independent living skills.
How does the program work?
The program is open to all of our foster care youth. The YES team includes a Middle School Specialist, Empowerment Coaches, a College Specialist, and a Housing Specialist.
For middle school students, we have an education specialist, who works to ensure the academic success of our foster care children in grades 6 to 8.
Once in high school, and through age 21, young adults can be paired with an empowerment coach who provides tools that can be used to help them succeed. The empowerment coach teaches youth how to self-advocate while also providing emotional, social, and life skills support.
Monthly youth-led peer groups provide a safe space for them to share their voices and discuss real world issues. Recent topics have included the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice, the importance of voting, stopping the violence in our communities, building healthy relationships with themselves and others, and respect and acceptance of peers. Designated Empowerment Coaches will facilitate the groups and teach leadership skills to the participants.