Youth Empowerment Services (Y.E.S.) programs are designed to empower middle and high school girls to internalize and practice Christian principles that will help them make decisions about abstinence and sexual purity that will enhance their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being resulting in the freedom to say “Yes” to forming healthy relationships and leading productive lifestyles.
Y.E.S. Programs consists of the following
- monthly small-group sessions, activities and events
- parenting support sessions
- adult and peer mentoring
- school and community presentations
Why do we target girls?
Interventions are different for girls than for boys, and girls in particular can experience a lack of self-efficacy and feelings of not being unique. Many girls are dealing with gender-specific issues such as poor-self esteem, stereotyping, and sexual and mental abuse.
The 2010 US Department of Justice Girls Study Group Report indicates that girls experience higher rates of mental and health problems that are linked to life stressors and experiences of victimization and depression. The feeling of uniqueness and connections through healthy relationships empowers girls to develop healthy minds, spirits and bodies. This study also reveals that many girls today enter puberty at an early age which can be associated with them having an adult boyfriend who may involve the girls in at-risk behaviors.
Why is our teaching based on Christian principles?
In May of 2013, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy published an Article entitled “Tips to Help Faith Leaders and Their Communities Address Teen Pregnancy.” It stated that research shows that religious faith and a strong moral sense play important roles in protecting young people from teen pregnancy and other risky behavior.
Among teens that haven’t had sex, the primary reason cited is their religion or morals. It also stated that 75% of teens and 73% of adults say that religious leaders and groups should be doing more to help prevent teen pregnancy.