Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a non-profit and volunteer-organization founded with the aim of serving at-risk children and youth in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and helping them navigate the road to adulthood more successfully.
Seeing children in the urban community struggle as they grow through adolescence, Barry Smith, Jeff Hayes, and Michael Shields–the three founders of the organization–were compelled to create opportunities for young people to grow. Therefore, with more than 50 years of combined experience working with young people, the three launched YES on March 18, 2003. Moreover, a twelve member Board of Directors was established to guide the Founders in the development of the programming and direct the financial role of the organization.
In order to assist at-risk children and youth in the community reach their highest potential, the organization provides educational assistance, mentoring relationships, and recreational-based prevention and intervention programs all year around. YES services over 200 individuals a year through all of its eight programs, utilizing the skills of over 175 volunteers in different capacities. New opportunities continue to arise to reach out to the needs of the community that YES is expanding towards.