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YEP (Youth Empowerment Program) is an effective program that serves to positively impact teens and our broader communities. The program teaches local high school students to be accurate and trustworthy resources for their peers on the subjects of sexual health and healthy relationships.

YEP directly addresses some of the biggest challenges in keeping teens healthy — a lack of accurate and approachable information and trustworthy sources for help and guidance.

What is YEP?

Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is a peer-to-peer program that gives youth the training they need to be educators and advocates in order to empower themselves and other youth in their communities to access health care and sex ed.

What impact do YEP peer educators have?

The Youth Empowerment Program has an impact far beyond the walls of classrooms — the ripple effect of teen educational leaders on their communities is profound.

YEP Peer Educators…

  • Use the most effective methods of contraception compared to peers
  • See health providers more often for preventative health care
  • Are more comfortable asserting their needs and boundaries in relationships

Friends of YEP Peer Educators…

  • Are more likely to use protection because of what they learned from their YEP friends
  • Know where to access resources and contraception
  • Are more comfortable discussing sex/sexuality because of their friends in YEP

Recipients of YEP Presentations…

  • View YEP Peer Educators as non-judgmental and knowledgeable resources
  • Are likely to go to a YEP Peer Educator with questions about sexual health

What do YEP peer educators do?

In addition to weekly meetings, teens facilitate lessons in the classroom and community, and get involved with causes that are important to their lives. Mentored by our Planned Parenthood Educators, Youth Empowerment Program members will:

Education

  • Learn about contraception, sexual and reproductive health, and relationships
  • Develop skills in presentation, communication, teaching and leadership
  • Present to peers in classrooms and in their communities

Advocacy & Awareness Building

  • Participate in Teen Lobby Day and other opportunities to educate their elected officials around issues important to them
  • Promote campaigns at their schools that support important causes, like domestic violence awareness or anti-bullying month

Youth Empowerment Program Topics

  • STDs/HIV
  • Birth Control Methods
  • Consent
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention
  • Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology

Why become a YEP peer educator?

All of the teens who have participated in our Youth Empowerment Program have said the experience was life-changing. The dynamic nature of the program means teens gain valuable life skills in an environment that fosters positivity and growth. Being a YEP member allows teens to:

  • Develop strong presentation and teaching skills
  • Become a trusted and accurate resource on sexual health for their peers
  • Make a positive impact in their community through presentations and daily one on one interactions
  • Gain valuable real-world experience and education while still in high school

Who can join YEP?

Our Youth Empowerment Program is open to all 10th –12th grade students in the Spokane, Yakima, Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities areas. Students are not required to have any previous knowledge of YEP topics or peer education, just a passion for learning and a desire to make an impact in their communities.

What is the commitment like?

The Youth Empowerment Program meets once a week through the school year. In addition to those meetings, teens will need to be available to do presentations (about one per month,) which can happen during the school day or in the evening. Council members will occasionally need to arrange transportation to these events as well as to weekly meetings.

What does YEP cost?

This program is free! There are no fees or materials to purchase, and Planned Parenthood sponsors the cost of events, including an overnight Youth Empowerment Program retreat and a trip to the state capital for Teen Lobby Day. Transportation to and from weekly meetings is the only service we don’t provide.

Can I ask YEP members to do a presentation?

Youth Empowerment Program members are available to present to local organizations and groups in Spokane, Yakima, Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities. If you have any questions about our educational programs or would like to request a presentation, please email our education team.