The Youth Empowerment Program (Y.E.P.) is a combination of all the supports Mano a Mano provides for the positive development of youth in our area.

Built upon the L.U.S. Youth Organization, as a foundation, the Y.E.P. adds various supports to help us reach our goals that ALL youth in our programs will:

  • Graduate high school and post-secondary (including trade or vocational school)
  • Find stable employment post-graduation
  • Have access to skills and opportunities they need to live healthy lives
  • Have the opportunity to take leadership roles in the community

We work primarily in Salem and Keizer, but will be expanding into other areas of Marion and Polk Counties in the near future.

The Y.E.P. welcomes youth ages 10 to 24 to our programs.  Ours is the only culturally specific (Latino) and youth led youth program in the Salem Metro Area, although we welcome ALL youth.

In addition to Latino, most YEP participants identify as immigrant, youth of color, and/or LGBTQ, or from families with low incomes.

Participants will develop individualized work plans to help them reach their short and long term goals in education, health and wellness, and employment. Youth will also have access to additional supports including up to 12 hours of after and out-of-school activities, service learning, mentoring and case management.

Parents of participating youth will also have access to parenting resources, including classes and peer support networks, and case management, as needed. Youth will be more likely to succeed when their family/support network is engaged in creating a healthy environment for them.

Current Activities include:

  • After school programs at various community sites (and soon in community sites)
    • Homework help and, upon request, individual tutoring
    • Self-esteem, cultural education and pro-social skills
    • Service learning
    • Fitness and recreational activities
    • Arts and cultural education and performance programs, including Project Space (a program of the Salem Arts Association) and L.U.S.’ Annual Urban Art Fest
  • Summer leadership programs
  • Gang Prevention
  • Ongoing leadership and Civic Engagement training and opportunities
  • Cuidate! Program for Latino youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to reduce their risks for HIV and unplanned pregnancies
  • Strengthening Families Program, for youth ages 10-14 and their parents
  • L.U.S. Youth Organization, youth-led leadership program