The Power of Youth Empowerment Programs in Communities

two girls enjoying outdoor program for youth empowerment on a mountain top
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Youth empowerment programs can have an incredible impact on their communities as they support students, increase access to opportunity, and remove barriers to education and achievement.

Ultimately, the goal of community programs for youth is to authentically engage and empower vulnerable children for a better future. Some programs advocate for healthy eating and physical activity as part of reducing childhood obesity. Others offer support to LGBTQ kids, work to lift children out of poverty, develop workforce training, or implement violence and bullying prevention activities.

Examples of Youth Empowerment Programs

Every state, county, or city is home to a program designed to help kids in that community, and each has a slightly different approach to speak to the needs of their area.

The Georgia Department of Human Services created their Youth Empowerment Series to provide access to resources that offer support and empower Georgians and their families. To accomplish this goal, kids are encouraged to be the “blueprint for change” in their communities and leaders are developed through workshops, networking, and experiences to “grow a generation of young trailblazers.”[1]

The Youth Action Research for Prevention (YARP) program was designed to train kids as a group to use research to understand their community better. YARP engages the students to use data to then develop social action plans and activities in the community.[2] The resulting engagement in community activism has had an effect on both behavior and effectiveness for individuals and the community.[3]

The Youth Empowerment Program in Louisiana was founded to “engage underserved young people through community-based education, mentoring, and employment readiness programs to help them develop skills and strengthen ties to family and community.”[4] Like many non-profit groups leading empowerment programs, they aim to create a community where all children “have access to the opportunities, skills, resources, and relationships they need to actualize their potential.”[5]

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, funds a demonstration project called the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) created to address unhealthy behaviors in minority at-risk youth. “YEP provides resources to those who need them most, minority youth who live in some of the most high-risk areas in the country. At its heart, this program is helping them make better lifestyle choices that result in healthier, happier lives,” explains Dr. Paula E. Papanek, founding director of the Program of Exercise Science in the Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[6]

Across the country, 17 YEP grantees offer innovative approaches to promote healthy lifestyles and life choices in minority youth, each for a three-year grant cycle.[7] The University of Utah worked with 30 at-risk teen mothers through a daily one-hour life skills training and after-school mentoring and tutoring program. They have seen both teen birth rates and STI rates lower significantly in their community indicating a decrease in risky sexual behaviors through direct educational programming in reproductive health and empowerment.[8]

Funding for Youth Empowerment Programs

Youth empowerment programs are designed to increase access to resources to improve children’s lives. If you have a plan for your community but aren’t sure where to find funds to develop your program, several youth empowerment program grants are available. For instance, Youth Funding Opportunity Search Tool allows organizations to search a wide range of funding opportunities for youth-related programs, and the list of searchable grant opportunities is updated daily. The Global Youth Empowerment Fund provides funding to community projects, especially those led by youth-led organizations, that “provide sustainable solutions to local challenges in communities around the world.”

Data for Grant Proposals and Evaluations

As part of the application process, many federally-funded grants require organizations or community coalitions to have a detailed plan in place on how you will establish baselines, track success, and report on results. You may be required to submit this information on a regular schedule to show progress and monitor outcomes. Survey data can be used for both as well as encouraging increased community support through matching funds and participation in programs. If your community-based coalition has received or is applying for a grant that requires data measurement and reporting, Pride Surveys can help.

Why Work with a School and Student Survey Company?

The benefit of working with a survey company is that we can gather fact-based data and information through anonymous and effective survey tools. With this information, educators, parents, PTAs, and coalitions are in a better position to secure future funding from a variety of sources to support their programs.

Presenting a survey to students can feel daunting especially when it comes to developing survey question ideas for high school students, but Pride Surveys has been providing research-quality data for schools and communities since 1980.

Our Pride Survey for Grades 6-12 is our longest-running and must-used survey with more than 8 million respondents over the last 35 years. This comprehensive questionnaire for students collects data regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, discipline problems at and outside of school, personal information, academic achievement, family life, and more. Using this student behavior and school climate survey, we have been able to track significant longitudinal data and trends, and have released multiple national data sets, allowing our customers to compare their local data with our national data. As you develop your community youth empowerment programs, this data can be incredibly valuable for many reasons.

Please browse through the different types of student surveys we offer and find out why more than 14 million students, parents, and faculty members have responded to Pride Surveys. Questions? Please call us today at 800-279-6361 or fill out our quick online contact form.


[1] “The Youth Empowerment Series (YES).” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

[2] “Youth Action Research for Prevention: A Multi-level Intervention Designed to Increase Efficacy and Empowerment Among Urban Youth.” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

[3] Ibid.

[4] “What We Believe.” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

[5] Ibid.

[6] “The Youth Empowerment Program: Promoting Health Behaviors in Minority Youth.” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

[7] “About the Youth Empowerment Program.” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

[8] “Reproductive Health.” Retrieved 1 February 2019 at

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