Those at Youth Empowerment Source (YES) are keeping their eyes on Cecil's children and youth.
The nearly four-month old non-profit started in December, 2014, and has since grown to provide four each of full and part time employees.
"We do it because we love Cecil County and the kids we serve need us," said YES Executive Director Beth Creek.
The mission of YES is simple - Building a stronger community by inspiring children, youth and families to life-long learning.
Their target audience is at-risk youth and children for whom they provide a wide range of services. The program will form partnerships with the school system, Department of Juvenile Services, Department of Social Services, and other agencies which serve young people.
The goal of the organization is to foster a commitment to young people that will promote education, interpersonal skills, and reassert a sense of hope in the future. "YES is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that are impacted by the drug epidemic, and/or living below the poverty level," said Creek.
The focus is on those ages eight to 21. YES has received funding to operate a number of programs.
The Botvin Life Skills program, is being held in schools throughout the county, for those in grades three through nine. This 10-week program strengthens the skills of participants in the areas of drug/alcohol abuse resistance, self-management, and social skills. This program is currently serving students at Bay View, Holly Hall, North East, Gilpin Manor, and Conowingo elementary schools.
A Children in Need of Supervision is in place for school-age children who have had contact or involvement with the Department of Juvenile Services.
My Family Matters, a school-based parenting program. YES is a partner in this program in conjunction with other agencies.
YES is the lead agency in the county which administers funding for underage drinking compliance checks. YES has also received funding through the Tobacco Task Force for tobacco compliance checks.
This summer, YES will host summer camps at at least three elementary schools in the county. Through these camps, approximately 100-150 students will receive five weeks of academic and fitness-based programming.
YES operates out of office space on Elkton's Main Street. Step Mika is President of the Board of Directors. Board members are Sheriff Scott Adams, Will Davis, Jason Lim, and Debbie DiVirgilio.