Youth Empowered To Succeed

 The Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES) Program is a collaborative effort between Brighter Futures, the Lincoln Enrichment Center, two nonprofit public mental health providers – Creoks Health Services and Grand Lake Mental Health Center, a self-governed Native American tribe (Muscogee (Creek) Nation), and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service of Wagoner. YES is an example of a public-private partnership that is educating, equipping and empowering youth to succeed through education, information, exercise, nutrition, and other services. The collaboration is focused on all school-aged children with a special focus on 3rd to 9th graders.

Participating in these workshops and programs benefits the youth by learning new strategies and techniques, developing and refining communication skills, building confidence and wisdom, expanding social connections, serving the community, and ultimately shaping future leaders and helping them to reach their full potential. To date, we have held four workshops, three special events, and five training exercises for youth. On a regular basis we are in search of educational and informational opportunities for our students.  

With dedicated community partners, we have developed and implemented workshops and programs specifically for youth on topics such as Leadership, Exploring Creativity Through Art, Saying No to Drugs, Saying No to Bullying, Job Skills, Teen Cuisine, Etiquette, Recycling, and Yoga. Other organizations and agencies that have participated in this collaboration include Oklahoma Works, Wagoner 4H Club, Wagoner Fire Department, Wagoner Health Department, Wagoner Community Hospital, Wagoner Police Department, Wagoner Public Library, Wagoner Arts Alliance, Wagoner Elks Lodge (#2838), various local churches, private citizens, and others. 

In August 2019, our YES Program received the Oklahoma Turning Point Council Healthy Champion Award for contributing to health improvement and quality of life in the community through strategic partnerships and/or coalition efforts. We attended the Annual Conference and were recognized and presented with an award. YES is truly a collaborative effort and we continue to partner with organizations to provide area children and families with the best services and programs possible. We are grateful to all of our community partners and look forward to continuing to add additional workshops and services to better prepare our youth to be their best.