Youth Services

Youth Empowerment Services (YES!) Program

Youth Empowerment Services Portland, OR
Through steady Partnership and Guidance, we Empower our youth to Navigate this world with Intention.

YES! Program Mission: Through skillful mentorship, the YES! Program strives to establish trusting relationships and meaningful connections. It is our hope that youth involved in our program learn to identify an authentic sense of self, develop and sustain healthy relationships, recognize and participate in safe communities and live with intention.

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Individual Mentorship

This program is in partnership with DHS Child Welfare and provides long term mentorship to youth ages 7-21 in order to help minimize the traumatic effects of the Foster Care system.

  • Pro social skills
  • Support during meetings (school, DHS, court etc)
  • System navigation
  • Job readiness skills training
  • Social and emotional support
  • Advocacy
  • Access to all recurring groups and quarterly events if appropriate and safe
  • Fun Community Activities

Group Mentorship

The YES! Groups Program allows Foster youth to create and participate in a fun, diverse and thriving community. Groups occur weekly either at the Center for Youth Empowerment or in the community and are aimed at creating a space where Foster youth feel they belong. All groups include a community meal, an opportunity to share and receive support as well as opportunities to relax and have fun!

  • LIFE (Lessons in Future Empowerment)
  • HEAL (Healthy Relationships, Effective Communication, Alcohol and Drug Prevention, Love)
  • The Q (for youth who identify as LGBTQIA2+)
  • FOCUS (Focusing on Our Culture’s Unique System)
  • Adventure Club
  • Crushin’ It with Keaton
  • Monthly Teen Events
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Education Program

The Education Program aims to provide trauma informed and individualized education services and support to any youth enrolled in the YES! Program. This is a relationship-based service where youth voice is recognized and valued as an essential component of the service plan.

  • Provides one on one coaching, homework help and tutoring for the GED exam and traditional diploma track
  • Providing consultations for PWI mentors
  • Implement social and emotional learning programs to improve engagement and participation in academic settings
  • Increase students’ self-confidence and empowerment
  • Help youth identify and participate in healthy learning environments
  • Help youth navigate and understand programs, supports and financial options regarding college (system navigation)
  • Support youth and families in navigating special education and disciplinary systems in schools

Facilitation Services Program

Youth and Family Facilitation services offers Care Coordination meetings, Family Mediation and Ice-Breaker Meetings intended to address and manage crisis and conflict present in the lives of the Youth and Families that we serve. Through skilled and mindful practice, our Facilitators place Youth and Families at the center. This service aims to safely address conflict, increase stability and improve relationships utilizing a trauma-informed, collaborative and culturally responsive approach.

  • To engage youth and families in identifying needs and strengths.
  • To respond timely and effectively to crisis.
  • To aid in the implementation of a service plan aimed at addressing the goals and needs of youth and families.
  • To support appropriate Foster Placements for youth.
  • To build and maintain healthy relationships for youth and families in the YES! Program.
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Youth Employment Program

The Youth Employment Program (YEP!) provides youth in the YES! Program the opportunity to safely practice skills needed to be successful employees. Youth are paid a livable wage and are provided weekly supervision by our PWI staff. The goal of the program to help youth enter the workforce in a safe environment where both success and struggle will be supported.

Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program

The YES! CSEC Program provides the same mentoring services as the YES! Program except it is designed to meet the unique needs of this highly traumatized population. We understand the complexities of the barriers youth in this unit face and utilize both youth voice as well as the Harm Reduction and Strengths Based Perspective to help guide the service.

  • Crisis response
  • System navigation
  • Case coordination
  • Housing support
  • Independent living skills
  • Resource connection
Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program

YES! Program Contact

Zoe Piliafas
YES! Program Director

Referrals to our YES! program must be made through a DHS Child Welfare caseworker.



"In my 20 years with DHS Child Welfare, I have not seen a program that is more effective in helping youth feel empowered and engaged in their own lives."

– Glenda Marshall, FOCUS Program Coordinator, DHS Child Welfare