The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) positively impacts teens and our broader communities by empowering youth to effectively advocate for local and regional change.
What is YEP?
YEP is a peer-to-peer program that teaches youth how to identify local issues they care about, and methods they can use to positively affect change in their communities. With an intergenerational community of youth and mentors, high school aged youth will develop leadership skills, foster justice-focused movements in their communities, and learn to advocate for change at the local, state and national levels, while maintaining inclusive and affirming environments.
Through an intersectional lens, YEP directly addresses some of the biggest challenges to teen social and sexual health — a lack of accurate and approachable information and trustworthy sources for help and guidance.
What do YEP peer educators do?
In addition to regular meetings, teens facilitate lessons, community projects, and actions in their community, and get involved with causes that are important to their lives. Mentored by our Planned Parenthood Educators, Youth Empowerment Program members will:
- Learn about sexual and reproductive health, reproductive justice, and intersectional social justice
- Develop skills in presentation, communication, leadership, activism, and advocacy
- Present to peers in schools and in their communities
- Participate in opportunities to educate their elected officials around issues important to them
- Promote campaigns in their communities that support important causes, like racial justice, economic justice, and reproductive justice
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:
- Take part in intergenerational learning
- Develop their voice, autonomy, intersectional consciousness, and community consciousness
- Participate in continued justice learning
- Lead activism and advocacy in their own communities
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 biweekly for two hour regular meetings. In addition to regular meetings, teens are expected to participate in community events and presentations monthly, as well as special opportunities like retreats, Lobby Day, and conferences!
What does YEP cost?
This program is free! There are no fees or materials to purchase, and Planned Parenthood sponsors the cost of events. This year the majority of group activities will take place virtually due to COVID-19.
Can I ask YEP members to do a presentation?
Youth Empowerment Program members are available to present to local organizations and small groups in Spokane, Yakima, Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities. Due to COVID-19, all presentations and collaborative events are being held virtually.