YESS we can!

Joe Wolnik & Jenny Glasscock, Advertising Manager & contributing writer

Youth Experiencing Success in School (YESS) is just what is sounds like- a respectable program whose purpose is to not only help students complete their high school experience, but excel in doing so. One of the main goals of the YESS program is to create awareness for topics like violence or life in school.

YESS offers many after school activities including the Friends of Rachel club here at school, the “Say it Out Loud” radio campaign, volunteering opportunities, and much more that you could get involved in. Another activity is the Choose Respect program where students partake in plays and activities to learn about topics like healthy friendships, dating, violence, and bullying.

The YESS program also offers community support for students. After school, students may receive help from emotional support and grievance counselors, drug and alcohol abuse services, teen pregnancy childcare services, a juvenile justice school completion program, and services for anti-violence. It also offers community service and leadership training opportunities that students can take part in. “One of the best things about the YESS program is the variety we offer,” says Kelli Bettenhausen, YESS Program Director.

“I am fortunate to work with educational leaders who hold true to the vision of Joliet Township High Schools. Because of our success, YESS received the DIMON Award from the Federation for Community Schools and Sycamore High School adopted the YESS model after ours,” Bettenhausen explains.

The YESS program started in 2005 and has received many grants to fund its numerous programs.

“YESS is a model of the integration of community and schools. By utilizing community resources, students get supports they need beyond academics right on school campus,” said Bettenhausen.

If you’re interested and you want to learn more, check out the YESS page on our school website and contact Ms. Bettenhausen at kbettenhausen@jths.org, or talk to your guidance counselor.