The Youth Empowerment Program

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The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) aims to provide a network of support and hope to immigrant children held in federal custody by connecting them to student role models from the University of California. YEP uses a five-month curriculum to help detained youth develop teamwork and leadership skills, reflect upon their past and make positive plans for their future while connecting with college student mentors. YEP provides an extensive leadership training program for volunteers by bringing in experts in diverse fields with the purpose of building future leaders for social justice. YEP volunteers utilize their leadership immediately by working with detained unaccompanied immigrant children every other week and engaging in direct community outreach. (Note: This project originally won in the Big Ideas “Social Justice & Community Engagement” category.)