Charity Bingo @ Hamburger Mary's

We had a great time at our first charity BINGO event! A big thank you to Hamburger Mary's for hosting us. We walked away with good food, lots of laughs, and funding to continue to support the efforts of YES! with Chicago's youth. If you missed it, save the date for our annual fundraiser, Taste of Clemente on April 29, 2017!

I Woke Up This Morning Numb

Encouragement_Sm.jpgI woke up this morning numb. I felt that I had a bad dream. And then I realized that I did not have a bad dream and that there were some events that happened that may affect my peers, my family-especially my beautiful Black and Latino children and all my extended children- the thousands that our program- Youth Empowering Strategies! has touched. As the Director, I believe it is important to share that the struggle has changed but the resolve to work on behalf of the health, education and welfare of our youth has been strengthened! I will share what I sent as a text to my children, nieces, nephews, family members and significant others this AM. “I am praying that the Lord guides our country and that the incumbent President actually realizes the enormity of his task and works on behalf of us all. Pray!”


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Youth Health Educator Workshops


Two Sundays a month, all of YES! Youth Health Educators attend interactive workshops with topics ranging from Professionalism to Citizens (Hands off) CPR. These opportunities allow us to connect with our peers from other schools as well as to maintain healthy networks with fellow advocates in the community. The purpose of these meetings coincides with the YES! Mission which is "to build an empowering foundation for our community’s youth through their participation in diverse experiences and opportunities.

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YES! Pledge: A Healthy Start to a Healthy Heart



Through the YES! Pledge Campaign, we are spreading awareness for both Heart Health and Teen Dating Violence Awareness for the month of February at our partner schools.  At each school, a bulletin board was created to display information about physical and emotional heart health.  Tips on reducing salt and heart attack risk as well as healthy relationship advice and signs of abusive relationships are posted as a resource for students and faculty. 


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YES! Kickoff Meeting



Sunday, January 24, 2016


On Sunday afternoon, the YES ( Youth Empowering Strategies) group gathered to celebrate another year of the program. Prior to the event, Ms. Sandra, Ms. Kia, Brianna, Maria, Chelsea, Ronia gathered to discuss some alternatives to encourage healthy eating and to publicize YES! in Josephinum Academy. One idea we came up with is to make candy grams of smarties.

 The group gathered at Uncommon Ground for the introductory meeting. There was great enthusiasm as people greeted one another and introduced them to the new members. When the room had settled down, everyone gave a short introduction about how he or she got involved in YES and a fun fact. 

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YES! Peer Educator Summer Bootcamp 2015

Youth Empowering Strategies (YES!) is proud to announce the completion of yet another successful Peer Educator Training! Our YES! Bootcamp was held at Josephinum Academy. Twelve peer educators were chosen from our partner high schools: ASPIRA Antonia Pantoja High School, Josephinum Academy, Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Wells Academy, and West Town Academy.


The YES! Peer Educators were trained in reproductive health, nutrition/fitness, dating violence and youth advocacy. The peer educators also completed youth advocacy projects, prepared healthy meals weekly, and practiced public speaking.

The students participated in daily physical activities including: yoga, dance fitness, volleyball, kickball, and a power walk on the Bloomingdale Trail. Thursdays were field trip days where the peer educators were exposed to various community resources including the Greenhouse at Albizu Campos High School and a Humboldt Park community garden. We culminated the program with a Montrose Beach cookout where the peer educators were acknowledged for their accomplishments.

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