The Youth Empowerment Program is a native youth program that aims to cultivate awareness and provide education on substance abuse and suicide prevention through project activities for youth ages 7-19 years. The youth project utilizes a strengths based approach to foster empowerment, increase resilience, strengthen cultural identity, promote leadership skills, and support family engagement through a holistic approach to health and wellness.
The Ignace Youth Center
The Ignace Youth Center promotes positive youth development and strives to increase resiliency in native youth by offering weekly academic support services, learning enrichment services, fitness education/recreation services, mental health and social wellness prevention education, cultural classes, traditional arts workshops, and creative arts workshops to youth and young adults (7-19 years of age), and their families. The Ignace Youth Center operates during the calendar school year on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00pm – 6:45 pm.
Family engagement is key to healthy youth development. Community engagement is vital toward building healthy linkages of support. Family nights are offered 12 months out of the year, and typically occur the last Thursday of each month. YEP Family Nights are an opportunity for families to participate in activities that provide education on suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, cultural education, health/wellness topics and activities that encourage positive family participation, teamwork, and fun.
The YEP offers Teen Outings to youth ages 13-19 years to provide mentorship, support and peer connection amongst native teens in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Teen outings are quarterly during the fall, winter, and spring. A continued focus on prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, self-empowerment, resilience, cultural identity, and leadership skills are reinforced with our teen groups.
Seasons of Change
A teen girls group for grades 8th and up. Empowering teen girls through mentorship and peer support, with activities that increase self-worth and resiliency, through all their seasons of change. This female specific teen group looks to create a space for the teen girls to come together where they feel safe, supported, accepted; are encouraged to practice self-love and healthy coping skills; and with goals to gain confidence, resilience and empowerment. The Seasons of Change group meets on a monthly basis.
7 Generations Summer Day Camp (7-12 years)
The primary objective of the YEP 7 Generations Summer Day Camp is to strengthen resilience and self-esteem for native youth, 7-12 years of age. The six week Summer Day Camp offers native youth an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and excursions that promote suicide and drug/alcohol prevention, cultural identity, emotional awareness and critical thinking skills, self-acceptance, and empowerment. Weekly scheduled camp activities fall under the following (5) broad track areas:
- Health & Fitness Track
- Cultural Teachings Track
- Self-Discovery Track
- Expressive Arts Track
- Equine Assisted Learning Track
7 Generations Summer Teen Outings- Teens
The YEP offers Teen Outings during the summer for youth ages 13-19 years to continue to provide mentorship, support and peer connection amongst native teens in the Greater Milwaukee Area. The focus of the outings are to connect and have fun! A continued focus on prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, self-empowerment, resilience, cultural identity, and leadership skills are reinforced with our teen groups.
Indian Community School Partnership
Through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indian Community School (ICS) the YEP provides suicide prevention education and skills training utilizing the Signs of Suicide (SOS) evidence based curriculum to sixth, seventh, and eigth grade classes at ICS. The YEP and ICS also partner in hosting the Native Beats for Life annual suicide awareness event held each September in honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainings
YEP staff are QPR certified trainers for adults and youth. Trainings at request of community partners will be culturally sensitive and offered directly by YEP staff to increase awareness of suicide risk factors and promote community capacity to respond to individuals at risk of suicide.
Behavioral Health Services for Youth
Are you concerned for your youth? Are you noticing some behaviors or signs that are concerning? The Department of Behavioral provides culturally appropriate assessment and psychotherapy intervention for children, adolescents, and their families utilizing an integrative treatment approach. Children, adolescents, and families who present for treatment complete an intake questionnaire that provides demographic information, and information on presenting concerns. Behavioral health intakes are staffed on a weekly basis and divided up amongst behavioral health providers. The Behavioral Health Director, Deputy Director, and GLIIHC Art Therapist will be the primary clinicians for YEP Ignace Youth Center referrals and ICS referrals for behavioral health services.