• Fewer than 3% of foster youth graduate from college.
  • When foster youth turn 18 they are on their own!


Recent studies show that, nationally, 66% of foster youth will be homeless, go to jail or die within one year of “aging out” of the foster care system. We feel strongly that guiding foster youth on the path to college will create a brighter future for this underserved and disproportionately impoverished group of children.

Our Mission

The Youth Empowerment Squad (YES​) is dedicated to helping low income, foster youth, former foster youth, and other underprivileged students acquire the knowledge, skills, tools, funding, and confidence to be able to go to college and not only better their lives, but also the lives of generations to come.

The Issues

*  Only 15% of university students come from the bottom 50% of the income distribution in the United States.

*  Only 11% of low income students (the bottom 25% of earners) receive a college degree.

*  The cost for attending a 4-year public university for a low-income student was 48% of family income.

*  At the nation's 200 most selective colleges, only 15% of entering students come from families earning less than $65,000; nearly 70% came from families making more than $108,000.

*  36% of students from wealthy families received scholarships averaging $10,213 for the school year just ended, while 35% of students from families earning less than $35,000 a year received scholarships worth an average of $7,237.

*  Less than 3% of foster youth graduate from college.

By giving your support to YES, you will change the life of a child, which will impact future generations.

The income difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate is over $1,000,000 in the lifetime of that child. 

In essence, you will be giving the gift of $1,000,000 to that child!

Helping Foster Youth Go To College!


Click above for more details from our News page.

Youth Empowerment Squad (YES!) pictures from our laptop giveaway.

See pictures of the 18 AVID students receiving their new laptops.

Click here to go to page.

Youth Empowerment Squad (YES!) presenting laptops to students Fri., June 3rd

YES! will be awarding 18 laptops to Mission Hills High School AVID students on Friday, June 3rd, 2016.  We are proud to have chosen 18 exceptional students who have overcome so much in order to pursue their education.  For the full press release, click here.

Youth Empowerment Squad providing laptops to AVID students

YES! is proud to announce that we have created scholarships for underclassmen in the ​AVID program at Mission Hills High School, where we are donating 18 laptops to deserving and hardworking students in 2016.

AVID students nationwide fit into one or more of these criteria:
* First person in family to go to a four-year university, or…
* Member of an underserved group at universities, or…
* Low socio-economic status, or…
* Special circumstances.

The Youth Empowerment Squad teams up with Buffalo Exchange in Pacific Beach!

Buffalo Exchange is a different kind of clothing store: trendy and stylish consignment with a commitment to community.


Shoppers are encouraged to accept a token instead of a bag for purchases, and Buffalo Exchange donates five cents to a charity of the customer's choice. 

Through their Tokens for Bags® program, Buffalo Exchange has raised nearly $550,000 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations since 1994, while saving 10.9 million bags from polluting the environment. 


We are so excited to be the newest partner in this program and look forward to being able to help more underprivileged and foster teens in San Diego attend college!