YES program gets youth ready for real world

By KYRA LOW, The Mirror

There is a new program available to help youth ages 16 to 21 build a foundation for their future.

The Youth Employment Services (YES) is run by the Multi-Service Center and provides those eligible youths in South King County one-on-one assistance with an employment plan.

The program will help educate those who are interested in job readiness skills, said employment and education director Robin Corak.

“We will help them with their resume, the interview, time management and conflict resolution,” Corak said. “This isn’t something you pick up at school.”

The program will also cater to those who need help staying in school, or if that isn’t an option, will assist with getting the GED or entering a vocational school.

The Multi-Service Center hopes that the whole community will see the benefits of the program.

“Studies have shown strong links between education and crime,” Corak said. “70 percent of offenders have low reading, writing and literacy skills. Plus the more people employed (in the community), the better the economy.”

YES is currently funded with a $78,000 grant from the United Way, but Corak hopes the program will someday gain more funding so that it can expand and offer more workshops.

Presently, the program does feature a few workshops, but for the most part it is very customized. Participants are given an in-depth assessment as well as an individual plan.

One aspect of YES is the planning for situations outside of work that could prove stressful. “Life’s Little Emergencies” is a handbook that helps participants plan for the unexpected.

“It’s got situations like ‘The kid’s sick, now here’s what I do,’” Corak said. “It’s guidelines and plans for the common emergency. It’s something to fall back on.”

Currently YES serves 15 to 20 youths in the area, and the program is required to have served 54 by the end of June to retain funding.

Contact Kyra Low: or (253) 925-5565.

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