Youth Empowerment Solutions is an evidence-based curriculum that is based on the theory of youth empowerment and community engagement.
The YES program began in Flint, Michigan in 2004. The idea for the program came from Flint community members and University of Michigan researchers.
The final program design was the result of a collaboration between the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center and the Prevention Research Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor.
Flint is an urban community that has a rich history of community activism. The people of Flint also face challenges, including high rates of poverty, unemployment, and violence. The YES program was designed to address some of the challenges in Flint while building on the many assets in the community.
The goals of the YES program are to provide youth with opportunities for meaningful involvement in preventing youth violence and creating community change, enhance the ability of adults to support youth in an empowerment framework, and change the social and physical environment to reduce and prevent violence (especially youth violence).