Scott Carpenter Middle School students Francisco Sanchez and Cesar Romero told their stories of personal growth at this year’s Youth Empowerment Support Services (YESS) Breakfast; in essence saying YES to their own success.
The two were asked to come and speak to the group about what YESS means to them and why they are members of the organization.
“I’m making good friends, getting good grades and staying out of trouble,” said Cesar. “It’s helping me be role model for other students and helps with my goal of being elected to Student Council.” Cesar serves as a mentor and role model to Francisco.
The YESS Institute was founded in 2001 to provide support for students in the North Metro Area and attempt to reduce high school dropout rates. It’s based on the idea of kids being responsible for one another and pushing themselves to successful outcomes. The components of the YESS mentoring model are peer mentoring, school engagement, curriculum and emotional intelligence.
Ranum, Scott Carpenter and Shaw Heights are all partners with the institute along with Lincoln, North and West High Schools in Denver.
The statistics will tell you that YESS is making a difference because the younger students (mentees) receive important guidance from older students (mentor).
- 95% of mentees will improve their school attendance rates
- 95% of mentees will improve their academic performance
- 95% of mentees will increase their social/emotional intelligence skills and feelings of connectedness to school
- Less than 5% of mentees will drop out of school
- 99% of mentors will graduate from high school; 75% will go to college with 95% as first generation
- 50% of our mentees become peer mentors
You can learn more about the YESS Institute here.