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Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success


Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success (YESS) is a comprehensive and integrated program that unites community partners and academic leaders to empower foster youth to successfully transition into independent living. Using the 3R approach, the YESS program provides services that focus on life skills training and academic performance with the objective of achieving self-sufficiency, college degree or certificate completion, and employment.

3Rs of Success
  • Rigor: Challenging, confidence building, interactive, and outcome-oriented learning experiences that addresses the needs of youth
  • Relevancy: Multi-level training and practical learning opportunities that correspond to real life situations
  • Relationships: A continuum of service through which college and YESS staff model and promote the cultivation of permanent relationships with caring adults
College of the Sequoias' YESS Program continues to provide independent living skills training to Tulare County foster youth, with a focus on Employment, Education, Financial Literacy, and Daily Living Skills, as well as helping the youth to identify and nurture life-long connections for ongoing support once they age out of foster care.  The classes include hands-on activities that make learning fun while giving youth real-life experiences.
In addition to the independent living skills classes, College of the Sequoias has a Drop-In Center for our college-going current and former Foster Youth.  Services include access to a computer, free printing of school-related papers and documents, a lunchroom stocked with lots of food choices and a prep area and microwave for heating the food, and a small eating area.
For more information about College of the Sequoias' YESS Program, please contact Miriam Sallam at (559) 737-4842 or or Rayven Arzola, Advising Specialist-YESS, at (559) 730-3717 or  Rayven has a varied work schedule as she also facilitates many of the YESS - ILP Classes.  Please contact her directly to make an appointment for navigating the college system, and/or help with needed resources. 

We also have a books and videos dealing with teen issues that are available for check-out through our FKCE Lending Library and the Lending Library for Teens.  

For more information about Tulare County`s Independent Living Program, call (559) 623-0301; for Kings County`s Independent Living Program services, call (559) 852-4954.

Please note that ILP is a statewide, federally-funded program.  If you do not reside in Kings or Tulare County, please contact the health & human services agency for the county in which you reside for information about what ILP services are available to you in that county.  Please note that available ILP services may be defined by your County of Jurisdiction (where you entered the Foster Care System).  You can also check out this on-line resource for foster youth:   It includes valuable resources, as well as provides a detailed listing of contacts for each county to help you get connected to the services you need! 


Go to Links for Current and Former Foster Youth. 

Go to Resource Lending Library for Teens - under construction.

Go to Return to Foster Care Education Home Page.

Last Updated: 4/7/2016 4:56 PM