The Need

YWP works with youth with varying academic needs. They range from academic support with basic to rigorous AP classes, tutors, help applying to college, to health literacy. The homeless youth we work with need a place to do homework, have access to books, and use working computers. These are the problems we know how to solve – and should be solving more often in more schools. And then there are the ones we haven’t figured out yet like basic literacy. Many of the youth we work with have trouble writing a complete sentence, doing basic arithmetic, and even reading. Additionally, the lack of health literacy has drastic effects not only on educational outcomes, but also on wellness as children and adults, and life expectancy.


    Our Program

    Education is a growing focus of YWP programming. At this point, we work on education issues in two ways. First, we provide support, training, and coaching to our youth staff so that they can improve their individual educational experience and outcomes and successfully apply and prepare for college and career attainment. YWP also helps students complete the FAFSA, discuss college and career options, and troubleshoot school-related problems.  As part of our youth development program, we work directly in and with school personnel – through which we witness DC’s educational challenges first hand. These interactions, as well as our youth’s academic needs and problems, have helped shape our policy work in this area.


      Policy Work

      YWP has been working on education policy for many years and have successfully led the development and passage of policies establishing new Health Education Standards (2016), an expansion of the DCPS condom availability policy (2010), and a first ever Sexual Harassment policy in DCPS (2005).  All of this work was spear-headed by youth advocates. During the 2015-16 school year, we expanded our education policy agenda to focus on the following issues: educational equity across DC public high schools, DC public schools budget access for at-risk student funding, mental health services in school, K-12 health education, community schools, and equitable distribution of academic services and services.

      Click here to read education testimonies.


        Our Impact

        YWP programs have a significant positive life impact on our youth. Here are the results from our 2015-16 Youth Health Educator Program (including 200+ youth) in the areas of education: 99% of our seniors were accepted to college or applied to college and waiting for results;70% of our youth educators participate in college prep services; none of our youth dropped out of school; 50% of all peer educators have above a 3.0 GPA and 80% have above a 2.0 GPA; 80% of peer educators are involved in after school activities, and enrichment programs; the birthrate among peer educators is zero.