The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) Network targets vulnerable youth who possess leadership potential but lack opportunities to develop it in a positive way. In a dynamic, year-long program, World Vision provides curriculum to help local youth-focused organizations mentor, train, and encourage young people to lead positive change in their communities. Teens age 14 to 18 develop skills in leadership, civic engagement, critical thinking, team building, and other vital areas.
Participants learn to identify local issues and problems in their communities, such as youth violence and the high school dropout rate, and to research and propose solutions. They become confident leaders who are empowered to make a difference in civic life and their own lives. They become advocates for their communities, addressing issues that affect them and their neighborhoods.
YEP alumni multiply the impact of the program by teaching the concepts they have learned to their peers. They also mobilize others to act through youth-led initiatives that lead to positive change.
Overcoming struggles to find purpose and unite teens
When David was only 6, his troubled father abandoned him, his sister, and their mother. "There were some days we had no food," David remembered. "We couldn't go out for fun. It was really bad."
Their life stabilized after his mother remarried years later, though central Los Angeles is a hard place to raise a family and be a teen. "Almost every weekend you would hear drunk people in the middle of the night," David said. "Around the MacArthur Park area, that's where you would see a lot of drugs." Read more...