The Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES3) 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 a 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, childhood diabetes, and associated chronic diseases in youth, as well as the lack of overall academic achievement. A major goal of YES3 is to help Latino youth reduce high-risk behaviors by facilitating success in school, preparation for future careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, and to positively contribute to their community
YES in Action:
YES3 serves 45 students, including 15 9th grade students and 30 8th grade students. An intensive boot camp-like approach to physical fitness, afterschool mentoring, nutrition curriculum, and parent engagement are designed to promote academic success with an emphasis on math, science, and career development.
Through the partnership between Marquette, UCC, and BGCS, we help students achieve a healthy body weight, be physically and mentally fit, and reach their academic goals of attending a good high school and receiving a future college degree.
We want to change the future of YES3 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 YES3 Program should and can go to college if they continue to work with YES.
YES3 students have taken the opportunity to form their own clubs to further explore academic and extracurricular interests and unique ways to stay fit and healthy. Faculty from DePaul University facilitated the Art Club. The Creative Cooking Club was organized by YES3 students and the staff dietician to explore ways to make fun foods healthy. Science club conducts unique experiments each week with the help of BGCS’s science teacher to facilitate classroom curriculum.The Triathlon Club is learning that success through sports and athletics is not defined by winning and losing, but by improving yourself and the team and inspiring the community around you. Other clubs include the Weight Lifting Club and Mountain Biking Club.
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