YAP Expands with Pilot Program to Serve Families in Arkansas
Early this year, news broke that Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. is among three organizations awarded contracts by the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for a pilot program aimed at safely reducing the number of children in care. The addition of work in Arkansas brings the total number of states where YAP Advocate mentors are serving young people and families to 23 and the District of Columbia. The pilot will use intensive, long-term, trauma-informed in-home services to reduce child abuse/neglect and improve family functioning.  READ MORE

YAP Participates in Big Cities Mayor's Convening
Chicago YAP Advocate Erika Jackson and 18-year-old Heaven, a young woman she has been mentoring, were among those featured in the opening video for a Chicago public called, "Cities Striving for Peace: What Chicago Can Learn from Five Big-City Mayors who Successfully Lowered Gun Violence ." The event was hosted by Chicago CRED & InVEST Campaign. Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny) was created in 2016 by Emerson Collective, a social impact organization founded and run by Laurene Powell Jobs, along with former U.S. Education Secretary and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. READ MORE AND SEE THE VIDEO
Virginia Hoft Leads YAP’s Efforts to Address Nation’s Growing Opioid Crisis
Virginia Hoft is applying her considerable experience as a substance abuse and behavioral health nonprofit executive and practitioner to lead efforts at YAP to address the nation’s growing opioid crisis. 

In 2015, Hoft joined YAP as National Director of Substance Use Services and Southwest Regional Vice President. Under her leadership, YAP is integrating innovative substance use services into the its 44-year-old alternative out-of-home placement model.

YAP In the News
YAP is making headlines across the country. Programs in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, DC highlight how the YAP model serves as an alternative to youth incarceration, provides school and job readiness programs and offers support to young men who are returning home after serving time in prison.

Here are links to recent news stories:
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YAP Celebrates Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
YAP’s Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability (ID/DD) program staff marked Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with a series of stories featuring individuals and families they serve. YAP Crawford County, Pa. staff members Alysha Giddings and Kimberlee Pederson shared an interview with the Huang family and their daughter who began receiving YAP’s support after they moved to the U.S. from China. Leah Vuich and Courtney Reimann profiled Aida Cuebas, a young woman from Mercer County, Pa., who, with support from the Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund scholarship, is finishing her first year at Butler County Community College. Leah Vuich also introduced Ashlee Freed of Mercer, Pa., another Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund scholarship recipient, who is beginning an online program to become a certified pet groomer. Cory Cox and Courtney Reimann shared two employment profiles of Lancaster County YAP program participants. Brittany Hilton and Courtney Reimann wrote about a Lebanon, Pa. program that helps young people find competitive employment suited to job seekers’ unique interests and skills. Brittany Hilton also profiled a young woman who is realizing her employment aspirations after being introduced to an opportunity to work at Texas Roadhouse in Palmyra, Pa.   READ THESE INSPIRING STORIES
YAP Hosts online fundraiser to support Guatemala Sister Agency
YAP recently hosted #YAPGuatemalaLove, an online fundraiser to support its efforts to tackle hardships that lead families to seek U.S. asylum. The campaign brought in $7,396 for YAP’s sister agency Siembra Bien, which works to address the violence, extreme poverty, drug trafficking and unemployment that cause Guatemalan families to risk family separation and the lives of their children to seek asylum in the U.S. Like YAP, its Guatemala sister agency Siembra Bien [Sowing Well] provides holistic community-based intensive mentoring and family, school, business and community supports to reduce crime and family separation with the goal of keeping young people safely home in their communities. For example, using YAP’s innovative Street Soccer leadership training model, Siembra Bien has introduced mediation and peace-building to gang-affiliated and other vulnerable young people in Guatemala City’s notorious Zona 18. As part of the campaign, YAP posted a video from Siembra Bien narrated by a 15-year-old Guatemala girl, whose words underscores the importance of support from #YAPGuatemalaLove.