Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success (YESS)

YESS-ILP header

Empowering youth to succeed.

Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success—Independent Living Program (YESS–ILP) is a comprehensive and integrated program that unites community partners and academic leaders to empower current and former foster youth to successfully transition into independent living. This program works in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services and is hosted on California Community College campuses throughout the state. With a focus on higher education and career training, the YESS-ILP provides youth with life skills and access to supportive campus connections to increase their ability to succeed.

Our Commitment

  • Increased youth enrollment in mentoring, life-skills training and transition services
  • Solid transition to higher education and career training
  • Improved youth retention throughout the multi-level training and learning experiences
  • Permanent connections to caring adults, institutions, and programs
  • Successful transition into independent living
  • Purposeful evaluation and constant program improvement

What We Do

  • Encourage a viewpoint that values youth for their strengths and assets
  • Provide lifelong campus and community connections
  • Provide a smooth transition from K-12 to community college campuses and foster youth education programs
  • Provide ongoing access to academic financial aid, vocational training, counseling, housing, and career development services
  • Collaborate with caregivers, group homes, county and state agencies, and community partners

Student Testimonial

My name is Jonathan and I am a student at Butte College in Northern California. I participate in the Inspiring Scholars program for former foster youth on campus. I recently received gift cards from them for The Grocery Outlet. I was so moved that I wanted to find out who had donated them and extend my thanks and gratitude.

Thank you so much to the Foundation for California Community Colleges for their donation of these gift cards! It was a tremendous help and relieved a lot of stress and anxiety for me in terms of food security. Foster youth, unlike many other students, don't have parents whose refrigerators and pantries they can raid and often, don't have anyone they can call on when times get tough. These gift cards made a huge difference in my quality of life, and in turn, help make my success in school more attainable. Again, my most sincere gratitude.

Contact Us

Heather McClenahen
Manager of Equity Programs
T: 916.498.6707
E: hmcclenahen@foundationccc.org


Carmen Loflin
Program Specialist
T: 916.325.8570
E: cloflin@foundationccc.org

Fact Sheet

Download the YESS-ILP fact sheet >

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

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Supporting our Work

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 114 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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