The Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES) program operates on a federally-funded grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Marquette University's Department of Physical Therapy in collaboration with the United Community Center (UCC). Marquette’s faculty and students work with UCC staff to promote healthy lifestyles, increase competency in math and science, develop positive self-esteem, and build community within Latino middle school students.
The program was developed in response to a growing concern that many youth lack the skills and support needed to succeed in school and the community. YES targets rising rates of obesity and childhood diabetes in youth, as well as the lack of overall academic achievement. A major goal of YES is to helps Latino youth to achieve in school, to prepare for careers in health and human services, and to contribute to their community.
YES in Action:
YES serves 50 seventh- and eighth-graders from Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS). An intensive boot camp-like approach to physical fitness and wellness, afterschool mentoring, and a newly-developed science club are designed to promote academic success with an emphasis on math, science, and career development.
Through the partnership between Marquette, UCC and BGMS we help students achieve a healthy body weight, be physically and mentally fit and reach their academic goals of a good high school education and a college degree.
We want to change the future of YES students by actively engaging in their fitness, wellness, and academic lives and giving them the skills they need to be successful today and tomorrow. We believe every student in the YES Program should and can go to college if they continue to work with YES.
Success through YES:
- On Saturday, May 21st, YES Program/ UCC/ BGMS/ MU Staff and families participated in the 2011 Bay View Fox Run 5K (3.1 miles). 31 of 47 YES students ran or walked and 6 different families ran/walked/dragged/pushed/pulled their ways across the finish line!
- In early August, 20 YES program participants, five Marquette University Mentors, and UCC program leaders Kelly Dione and Tim Balke stayed overnight in Devil's Lake State Park. Activities included: team building/bonding games and challenges, hiking/walking, swimming, ball games, camp fire (students were each assigned tasks to help out, preparing dinner, clean up, etc.), ghost stories, s’mores, and all of your other general camping experiences. As a program leader, Tim reflected on how much he appreciated having the opportunity to participate in the trip: "It was a great way to get kids in touch with nature, participate in different team building activities, and remind them that there's more to life than just iPods, internet, TV, and cell phones... It was an unbelievable experience!"
- YES Program Participant achieves academic success. Read Herbert's story.
Moore Announces Continued MU/UCC Collaboration Funding